NEW DELHI: Senior BJP leader Uma Bharti on Friday issued a clarification on the report that she refused to campaign for the party on the controversy of induction of expelled BSP leader Babu Singh Kushwaha into the party and said will continue to campaign till January 9 as per the schedule.
"I will hold rallies till 9th as per schedule and will thereafter take programmes as the party decides," said Bharti.
Sources earlier said, Bharti has threatened that she will not lead the party in Uttar Pradesh, fight elections or campaign in the state if Babu Singh Kushwaha is not removed from the BJP.
Sources said Bharti spoke to BJP's UP campaign in-charge Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi on Friday morning and told him that she doesn't want to campaign for a few days citing personal reasons. She had conveyed her decision to BJP President Nitin Gadkari on Thursday itself.
To defuse the crisis, Gadkari and the leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha and senior BJP leader Arun Jaitley spoke to Uma Bharti.
Bharti, however, declined to talk to the media on the issue and said, "Whatever I have to say about the party I will convey it to my party leaders. I will not comment about it in the media."
It was Bharti, who had facilitated Kushwaha's induction into the party, but she was upset once he came under the CBI scanner. Sources said Bharti raised the Kushwaha issue as she is upset over the fact that the BJP didn't allot UP assembly poll tickets to her nominees.
The BJP is facing severe criticism from other political parties after inducting the expelled BSP leader in the party.
Congress spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi said that the BJP should create an internal Lokpal instead of giving a petition to the President. "BJP need not petition President on Lokpal; instead, should create internal Lokpal to screen and admit only corrupt applicants like Kushwaha," Singhvi tweeted on Friday.
Criticising the BJP, Samajwadi Party (SP) leader Akhilesh Yadav said he wonders how the BJP inducted Babu Singh Kushwaha in the party, after the BSP expelled him.
"After the BSP expelled Kushwaha, I wonder how the BJP inducted him in the party," said Yadav.
While hitting out at the BJP, Yadav also said that the Samajwadi Party has zero tolerance for corruption.
"Samajwadi Party has always maintained that it will not include tainted ministers in the party," he said.
Even BJP leader Maneka Gandhi said that it was not right to take in people who were thrown out of other parties.
"We are angry with this decision. We have people who are honest and hard working," said Maneka Gandhi.
Senior BJP leader Yashwant Sinha, however, on Friday defended expelled BSP leader Babu Singh Kushwaha's induction in the party, and said Kushwaha has come to the BJP as a whistleblower.
"He (Kushwaha) was a part of Mayawati's corrupt government. Now he will bring to light all the wrong that was being done," said Sinha.
But there could be more trouble for the party, even as BJP's Central Election Committee is scheduled to meet later on Friday at party President Gadkari's residence where Kushwaha's induction and UP ticket distribution likely to figure on the agenda.
Reports said former party president Rajnath Singh's son met don-turned-politician Dhananjay Singh on Sunday, fuelling speculation that the BJP might give a ticket to his wife Jagriti from Malhani.
Dhananjay who was suspended by the BSP recently is in jail on charges of murder.