New Delhi: After taking on Mayawati on NRHM irregularities, the BJP in a surprise move on Tuesday inducted into the party UP Chief Minister`s former confidant Babu Singh Kushwaha, who is facing CBI inquiry in the scam.
Badshah Singh, who was also expelled from the cabinet by
Mayawati and has several pending criminal cases against him,
was also inducted into the BJP ahead of the the February
elections. A known party-hopper, who has been elected four
times as MLA on a BJP ticket, Singh had joined BSP before the
The move comes as a surprise as the BJP had been attacking
Mayawati and Kushwaha, who was one of the most trusted leaders
of the BSP supremo for over two decades but was sacked as
Family Welfare Minister in April following the scam in
National Rural Health Mission, over corruption charges.
Kushwaha is facing a CBI inquiry in the NRHM scam in
which two CMO`s were murdered while Deputy CMO Y S Sachan, who
was arrested for his alleged involvement in their murders, was
found dead in mysterious circumstances in jail.
Singh was the Labour Minister and was removed after UP
Lokayukta served him a notice for allegedly committing
Faced with tough questions from the media on the
corruption charges against Kushwaha and Singh, BJP tried to
put up a brave face.
"The UP Chief Minister is directly responsible for
corruption in the state. There are no charges against
Kushwaha. He has been made a scapegoat for face-saving by
Mayawati," BJP state unit chief Surya Pratap Shahi said.
BJP Vice-President Vinay Katiyar, who has been
instrumental in bringing Kushwaha into the party, defended the
decision and sought to put all the blame on Mayawati.
"What factory has Mayawati got that her wealth has
increased manifold since she came to power. From where has she
got this money," Katiyar said.
He maintained that Mayawati sacked the ministers from her
cabinet only after the assembly elections were announced.
"Till now she was enjoying the fruits of this corruption
and is now sacking her ministers," Katiyar said.
BJP insisted that only when the CBI questions Kushwaha in
the NRHM and CMO murder cases will the latter explain his
While Kushwaha is an MLC, Badshah Singh is an MLA from
Hamirpur constituency of Bundelkhand region. Singh is said to
have some influence in the region and may help BJP win some
seats from the area which is otherwise a BSP strong-hold.
BJP had earlier also inducted Daddan Mishra, who resigned
last week as cabinet minister for Ayurveda medicine in
Mayawati government. He has been given the BJP ticket from
Avadesh Verma, who was Minister of state (independent
charge) for OBC Affairs in Mayawati government but was later
sacked for non-performance and denied a ticket, has also
joined the BJP and will contest from Dadraul.
Arun Yadav, a SP MLA at present, will contest on a BJP
ticket from Jalalpur.
Having declared its candidates for 143 seats in UP in
the first list, BJP is now scouting for leaders who can
contribute to increasing its tally.