Revolt within, but BJP defends Kushwaha induction

January 6th, 2012 - 5:38 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata Party New Delhi, Jan 6 (IANS) The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Friday drew flak from its senior leaders Maneka Gandhi and Uma Bharti who raised a revolt against the decision to induct tainted former Uttar Pradesh minister Babu Singh Kushwaha. But the party justified the move, saying it was done to give marginalised class its leadership due.

Maneka Gandhi and Uma Bharti have both publicly expressed their unhappiness with Kushwaha, a sacked Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) member facing corruption charges in a multi-crore health scam in Uttar Pradesh.

He was inducted into the BJP last week.

“We should not have taken in any tainted or corrupt minister expelled from the BSP,” Maneka Gandhi told reporters here.

The MP from Aonla in Uttar Pradesh said the state unit of the party was not consulted before Kushwaha was inducted.

“The entire BJP state unit is upset with this decision,” she said.

Uma Bharti, who is in the middle of the election campaign in Uttar Pradesh, has also expressed her discontent over the decision.

She refused to speak on reports that she had canceled her campaigning to protest against the Kushwaha induction.

“I will say whatever I have to within the party forum. I don’t speak to the media about party issues,” Uma Bharti told reporters in Kanpur where she was on the campaign trail

But the BJP stuck to its guns and justified the decision to have the “backward class” into the party because other parties have denied leadership to people from marginalised communities.

Kushwaha was taken in because he “represents a backward class and community but that doesn’t mean we are protecting the corrupt”, BJP spokesperson Nirmala Sitharaman told reporters.

She said the marginalised classes have been denied leadership and “there is a pattern in Uttar Pradesh”.

The move has also come in for a severe criticism from the Congress and even from BJP ally Janata Dal-United.

The revolt prompted the BJP to announce that Kushwaha won’t get election ticket in Uttar Pradesh or any party post.

“He won’t get the party ticket or party post,” BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad told reporters here.

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