Rahul-BJP spar over ‘tainted’ leaders

Last Updated: Sunday, January 8, 2012 - 00:45

Zeenews Bureau

Lucknow: The induction of former BSP minister Babu Singh Kushwaha into Bharatiya Janata Party was targeted by the Congress General Secretary Rahul Gandhi during his poll campaign in Uttar Pradesh’s Gorakhpur on Saturday, as per news reports.

Speaking at a public rally, the Congress leader said, "Kushwaha tried to enter the Congress party after being sacked by Mayawati but we closed the doors and told him that party will not take any tainted politician. However, BJP gladly took Kushwaha into its lap. The BJP earlier sold Ram to grab power and now Kushwaha has purchased BJP. This exposes the double speak of the party."

Babu Singh Kushwaha is under CBI investigation for Rs 5000 crore National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) scam. He is the prime suspect and CBI may arrest him soon. Kushwaha was dropped by the BSP government from Mayawati`s cabinet. Kushwaha was also linked with the murder of three medical officers in the state to cover-up the scam.

Rahul added that in last 22 years, people of Uttar Pradesh had given chance to every major political party to govern the state after ouster of the Congress, so he requested the mass gathering to give one more opportunity to his party and promised, if voted to power, the Congress would bring development to UP in next five years.

Mentioning Kushwaha’s relationship with Mayawati’s
`magic elephant`, which "eats the poor man’s money", he said
that "Kushwaha was probably the second or third, or maybe even
the first amongst those in Uttar Pradesh who fed the
elephant." Elephant is BSP`s poll symbol.

When finally the BSP supremo expelled him from the
party, Rahul told the crowd that he came to the Congress
seeking protection but the party refused. "We said you will go
to jail."

"The same party that sold you Shri Ram’s name for votes,
was bought by Kushwaha", Gandhi said.

"And they dare to speak about corruption," he said,
adding that "the BJP first sold you religion, and you voted
for them, what did they give you? Progress, development?

Coming down heavily on the Mayawati government, Rahul
Gandhi alleged it was involved in corruption from head to toe.

He said sacking of tainted ministers by the Chief
Minister when the assembly election was round the corner was a
"drama".

He also targeted BJP leader LK Advani saying it was
he who undertook the Rathyatra across the country against
corruption but now "the corrupt and discarded minister from
the BSP has boarded his Rath."

The Congress leader said he would not rest till the
face and fate of the state was changed.

He asked voters to bring about a change in the state
saying "if UP changes, the country will change."

While reacting sharply to Rahul Gandhi`s comments BJP said he should first look within his own party which has become a "mine of corruption".

"Rahul Gandhi should not give such sermons. He should
remember that the Congress hand is with former telecom
minister A Raja, with Commonwealth Games OC Chairperson Suresh
Kalmadi, with Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, Goa Chief
Minister Digambar Kamat and Home Minister P Chidambaram," BJP
spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain said.

He was punning on "hand" which is the election symbol
of the Congress. Raja, Kalmadi, Dikshit, Kamat and Chidambaram
have faced allegations in various corruption cases ranging
from 2G spectrum and CWG to mining.

"While the Congress has become a mine of corruption,
BJP is against and will remain against corruption," Hussain
said.

Gandhi had alleged that Kushwaha, an OBC leader from
UP who is facing a CBI inquiry in the Rs 2,000 crore NRHM
scam, had first approached the Congress and when the party
refused, he joined the BJP. He said the BJP had welcomed
Kushwaha though he was tainted.

Defending this decision, Hussain said the party does
not want to shield the corrupt.

With PTI inputs



First Published: Saturday, January 7, 2012 - 18:36

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