Unease within BJP over induction of tainted former BSP leader Babu Singh Kushwaha, who is facing CBI inquiry in the Rs 2,000 crore NRHM scam, has grown further with more leaders joining the chorus against the decision.
Maneka Gandhi, BJP MP from Aaonla in Uttar Pradesh, criticised the decision to induct Kushwaha a day after leaders like Yogi Adityanath and Kirti Azad openly criticised the move to bring into the party fold a man the party was targeting for involvement in the NRHM scam.
"Taking into the party people who have been thrown out by BSP does not show us in good light. Nobody was consulted before inducting him. These leaders were reaping illegal benefits as ministers and no work was done," Gandhi said.
There are reports that firebrand leader Uma Bharti is also not happy with Kushwaha's induction. However, she refused to comment, saying she does not discuss such matters with the media and she would air her views only to the party.
Bharti is also miffed that her candidates are not being accommodated in ticket distribution. Other than Kushwaha, she is opposed to the induction of Badshah Singh who had fallen out with her during the 2002 elections in UP.
Senior leaders LK Advani, Sushma Swaraj and Murli Manohar Joshi have already opposed the decision.
With a growing number of leaders opposing Kushwaha's induction, rumours were thick that the decision may be revoked. But sources close to party president Nitin Gadkari said he is likely to stick to his decision on the argument that Kushwaha will bring OBC votes to the party.
BJP leader Yashwant Sinha defended the decision, saying Kushwaha has come as a "whistleblower" to the party and will expose the deeds of UP chief minister Mayawati.