Lucknow: Naseemuddin Siddiqui's ouster from Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) may pave the way for the comeback of Babu Singh Kushwaha, who is facing corruption charges in the multi-crore National Rural Health Mission (NHRM) scam.
Last week, Siddiqui launched a scathing attack on BSP supremo Mayawati, hours after he and his son were expelled from BSP for anti-party activities.
Sources say if Kushwaha does indeed come back to the party, it will be Maya’s strongest move against Siddiqui, who, interestingly, was the person who got Kushwaha a job as a telephone operator in the BSP office years ago.
Kushwaha went on to join Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in 2012. His induction was however marred by dissent from many within the saffron party regarding his involvement in the NHRM scam, post which he wrote to the top brass to suspend his membership till proven innocent. Undeterred, Kushwaha, floated a new party before the UP assembly elections, Jan Adhikar Manch, but failed to make a mark there too.
Now, with Siddiqui's ouster, sources say Mayawati might think of bringing back one of her most trusted lieutenants.
The NHRM scam was one of the biggest scams to have hit Uttar Pradesh during the BSP regime. Nearly 50 people had died under mysterious circumstances in the scam. The state government had received Rs 8,657 crore under NRHM between 2007 and 2012, but a major chunk of this money was allegedly siphoned by ministers and some officials.
The CBI filed a chargesheet naming Kushwaha in this connection and in 2015 the Enforcement Directorate attached his assets worth Rs 196 crores.
Kushwaha’s comeback may raise eyebrows but only few will deny the fact that Mayawati was dependent only on a few people and he was among them. How this will pan out for the party is a pure wait-and-watch game.