Embarrassed over Kushwaha, BJP targets Congress, BSP (Lead)

January 4th, 2012 - 9:13 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata Party New Delhi, Jan 4 (IANS) Embarrassed over the allegations of corruption against former Uttar Pradesh minister Babu Singh Kushwaha, now a BJP leader, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Wednesday accused the Congress and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) of misusing CBI against it.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Wednesday searched the Delhi and Uttar Pradesh premises of sacked BSP leader Babu Singh Kushwaha, inducted in BJP Tuesday, for his alleged involvement in a multi-crore-rupee health scam.

He was named an accused by the CBI in one of the five cases registered against National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) officials and private companies in Uttar Pradesh.

Maintaining that the Congress and the BSP were hand in glove in unleashing the investigating agency on the backward caste leader, BJP leaders questioned the two parties on their own tainted ministers, but at the same time added it would not support the corrupt.

Sources from the party, however, say Kushwaha may not get a ticket for the polls amidst protests from several quarters within the party.

Kushwaha, who used to be a confidant of BSP chief Mayawati, has been charged with criminal misconduct and misuse of office in implementing the NRHM scheme as the family welfare minister in the state.

“We induct various people into the party ahead of elections. It is not necessary we give them a ticket. In this case, the party is not considering granting him a ticket,” said BJP vice president Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi.

Several party leaders, including party veteran L.K. Advani, were reportedly upset with Kushwaha’s induction. Sources said several party leaders from Uttar Pradesh also expressed displeasure.

According to sources, BJP is likely to keep the leader. “He will not be thrown out of the party,” a BJP leader said.

Alleging a nexus between the Congress and BSP in Uttar Pradesh, Naqvi questioned the timing of the raids, which came a day after Kushwaha joined the BJP, as the investigating agency had kept quiet for months before going in for searches at Kushwaha’s premises.

“The BJP is not a shield for corrupt people. But the CBI raids seem motivated. Why did the CBI take so long for carrying out searches,” Naqvi asked.

Naqvi said the CBI action seems “selective”, as several other criminal cases and graft cases that the agency was probing remained stagnant, including those relating to the disproportionate wealth case against Mayawati.

Party leader Ananth Kumar came out strongly in Kushwaha’s defence, saying he was thrown out of BSP for being the “voice of backward castes”.

“The Congress is blaming us, but can they tell why they are defending P. Chidambaram and Sheila Dikshit,” Kumar told reporters here. “CBI is being used selectively during elections.”

Vinay Katiyar, who has been one of the key people in bringing Kushwaha to the party, said he stood by his decision.

“But if he has indulged in corruption, BJP won’t support him,” Katiyar said, adding that the allegations have not been proved yet.

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