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RSS mum as BJP woos turncoats

india Updated: Jan 06, 2012 00:45 IST
Vikas Pathak
Vikas Pathak
Hindustan Times
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The new year issue of RSS mouthpiece Panchjanya published an article denouncing party-hoppers and calling for the ouster of criminals from politics. Days later, the Sangh’s political wing BJP inducted many tainted party-hoppers with an eye on the Uttar Pradesh polls.

The RSS, however, refused to comment on the BJP decision taken under Nitin Gadkari.

Sangh leader Ram Madhav said, “These decisions of the party must have been taken in its own wisdom. We don’t comment on the party’s internal decisions.” RSS Akhil Bharatiya Prachar Pramukh Manmohan Vaidya said, “It is the party’s own decision whether to accept someone or not, and the Sangh has no view on it.”

The Panchajanya article pointed out that many MLAs and ministers in UP had been party-hoppers, adding that the SP, BSP and Congress were welcoming such elements. It also wondered how long the BJP would steer clear of this phenomenon.

The RSS had in a string of internal meetings in the past year deliberated on corruption as a key concern, vowing to support any movement that took the menace head on. But the BJP’s move of welcoming tainted former BSP ministers Babu Singh Kushwaha and Badshah Singh, and fielding Sakshi Maharaj who was once accused of rape and murder and Chhatrapal Singh who was an accused in the Parliament’s cash-for-questions scam of 2005, has landed the RSS in a dilemma.

On Thursday, Bihar chief minister and Janata Dal-United leader Nitish Kumar criticised the inclusion of Kushwaha.”It is not a healthy and appropriate precedent. In fact, BJP is also facing opposition within the party for the decision,” Kumar said in Patna.

The party’s Lok Sabha MP Yogi Adityanath also openly criticised the induction. The BJP, however, continues to stand by Kushwaha. The party is counting on the backing of non-Yadav OBCs that the new inductions may bring.