New Delhi: Even as in-house protests grew
against the induction of tainted former BSP leader Babu Singh
Kushwaha, BJP on Friday remained firm on its decision to have him
rpt him in its fold saying it was "not a hasty" step.
BJP President Nitin Gadkari is also in touch with party
leaders like Yogi Adityanath, Maneka Gandhi, Kirti Azad and
others who have opposed Kushwaha`s induction. While sticking
to his decision, Gadkari intends to give these leaders a
hearing and emphasise on why Kushwaha, an OBC leader, has been
brought to the party-fold ahead of UP assembly polls.
"One can definitely not call the decision to induct
Babu Singh Kushwaha a hasty decision. I can assure that this
was not at all a hasty decision," BJP spokesperson Nirmala
BJP is also playing the OBC card, painting Kushwaha as
a victim of Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati`s politics.
Sources said BJP feels that after Kushwaha was sacked, the
welcome extended to him by the party will win it the sympathy
votes of Kushwahas, Mauryas, Koeris and other Most Backward
Castes in UP.
"Kushwaha represents a very backward class community.
He has come into the party and we have welcomed him... SP, BSP
and Congress are not serving the MBCs. They are engaged in
minority appeasement while OBCs feel their rights are being
taken away," Sitharaman said.
Wary of the allegations being levelled against it of
welcoming the corrupt within its fold, BJP also made it clear
it would not stand in the way of law.
"Kushwaha`s induction into BJP is no immunity to him
from the law. We have not said we will be giving him cover.
Law will take its course," Sitharaman said.
BJP insisted if Kushwaha and other OBC leaders come into
the party they will be welcomed but the party will not
"protect" them from the law.
"There is a pattern emerging in which the OBCs are being
denied their due," Sitharaman said.
Though dissenting voices from MPs Adityanath, Maneka
Gandhi, Azad and others have embarrased the party, Gadkari is
firm on his decision. However, he is said to be in touch with
such leaders to impress on them that Kushwaha`s induction
would help the party electorally in coming polls.
BJP think-tanks are said to be of the view that a
combination of upper caste and non-Yadav OBC votes will help
it reach the 100 seat mark that will help it play kingmaker in
case of a hung Assembly.
The party dismissed reports that its firebrand Hindutva
leader Uma Bharti is sulking due to Kushwaha`s induction.
"Neither was she angry then nor is she angry now...She
will indeed be campaigning for the party in UP," Sitharaman
BJP also hit back at Congress for the latter`s comments
that it should get a Lokpal in the party to search for corrupt
"Congress is ready for all this but will not give us a
Lokpal," she said, referring to the Lokpal Bill which could
not be passed in Rajya Sabha in the winter session of
Sitharaman said Congress should set its own house in
order and then attack BJP.
"Congress should clear the names of its ministers facing
corruption charges. Only after that would it be right for them
to make comments," she said.