NEW DELHI: The policy of inducting tainted leaders just ahead of the polls with an eye on vote bank and muscle power is not an alien concept in the state of Uttar Pradesh. It seems that parties like SP and BJP are in a hurry to rope in leaders who could be their star campaigners during the polls without giving much thought allegations of corruption, scams or criminal background. The race is not just to induct but also to dump those leaders who are in the media glare for their wrongdoings.
While the BJP has inducted former minister in Mayawati government Babu Singh Kushwaha which has left the party red-faced over opposition from RSS and its own leaders, Samajwadi Party has seen division within the party over move to bring UP don DP Yadav into its fold.
The rift within the Samajwadi Party is out in the open after senior leader Mohan Singh was sacked as the spokesperson after he supported the induction of tainted Bahujan Samaj Party MLA DP Yadav into the party. Singh was shown the door as party spokesperson after he favored the induction of DP Yadav into the party even though Mulayam Singh Yadav's son Akhilesh had rejected the proposal.
However, Mulayam's brother Shivpal Yadav and another senior Samajwadi Party leader Azam Khan are in favour of inducting DP Yadav.
Singh denied allegations that he had said anything against Akhilesh Yadav and claimed that there had been a wrong campaign against him by a section of the media. He further said that he was removed from the national spokesman position due to his ill-health.
"I haven't said anything against Akhilesh Yadav. I am extremely fond of him. There has been a wrong campaign against me. They (media) wrongly interpreted my statement. I don't think party has removed me on that count. My health isn't good (and) that's the reason they may have removed me. I am thankful to the party leadership for this decision," said Singh.
Singh had given a statement in favour of DP Yadav's induction into the party after he met Azam Khan in Rampur in December.
However, Samajawadi Party leader Ram Gopal Yadav, who has been appointed as the new Samajwadi Party spokesperson, said that Singh had been removed for his comments on Alkhilesh.
"Mohan Singh has been removed as spokesperson for his comments on Akhilesh. His comments have not gone down well with the party cadre," Ram Gopal Yadav said. Akhilesh Yadav had said that DP Yadav and those with dubious record should not be inducted into the party.
It's not only the SP, domestic troubles are plaguing the BJP also which is facing opposition from its own people now over opening the party doors to former BSP minister Babu Singh Kushwaha.
RSS mouthpiece Panchajanya snubbed the BJP for inducting Kushwaha, urging the people of Uttar Pradesh not to vote for "party hoppers and criminals".
RSS spokesperson Ram Madhav said the issue of tainted candidates could not be ignored by the BJP.
Meanwhile, Gorakhpur BJP MP Yogi Adityanath hit out against party high command saying that the BJP was on a wrong track as it was inducting all those thrown out by the BSP.
He said, "The BJP has been leading the fight against corruption. I don't know what possessed the state unit to induct a scam-tainted politician who has been kicked out of the BSP. The BJP will pay a heavy price."
Rajya Sabha MP Kirti Azad too joined Adityanath's chorus, saying there was substance in what Yogi Adityanath had said and that the RSS was correct in asking people to refrain from voting for criminals.
"There is substance in what Yogi Adityanath has said. I joined for clean politics," he said.
RSS media relations incharge Ram Madhav meanwhile said that it was up to the BJP to choose candidates and being concerned about its image.
"They must have kept the larger electoral picture in mind... Someone must have written something in Panchjanya, but the issues raised should be kept in mind."
On Wednesday, senior leader Advani had expressed displeasure over Kushwaha's induction. However, he was vetoed by party president Nitin Gadkari, and state UP leaders Rajnath Singh and Vinay Katiyar.