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Why Advani is upset with Nitin Gadkari

Last updated on: January 5, 2012 09:15 IST

Why Advani is upset with Nitin Gadkari

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Gyan Varma in New Delhi

If the Bharatiya Janata Party, riding high on an anti-corruption wave in the country, took four former ministers of the Mayawati government who were thrown out of the Uttar Pradesh chief minister's Bahujan Samaj Party on corruption charges, it was a personal initiative by BJP president Nitin Gadkari.

The result: the BJP's senior-most BJP leader, L K Advani, is upset with the unilateral move.

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Advani, 84, believes that Wednesday's absorption of the foursome will be a loss of face for the party, adversely affecting its credibility in talking against corruption.

The entire anti-graft movement the BJP launched in recent times will go waste if the party gave election tickets to tainted leaders, he fears, according to sources.

It was in the hope of encashing on the vote base of the four ex-BSP members that the BJP inducted Babu Singh Kushwaha, former family welfare minister, who had allegedly siphoned off funds in the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM).

Apart from Kushwaha, other ministers who Mayawati sacked owing to corruption charges were Badshah Singh, Avadhesh Verma and Daddan Mishra. Verma and Mishra have even got BJP tickets to contest the upcoming UP assembly polls.

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Why Advani is upset with Nitin Gadkari

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Advani, a three-time BJP president, is also upset because the central election committee meeting on Monday featured no discussion on allowing Kushwaha and Singh to join the party. Their induction happened the next day, when the BJP announced names of its 81 candidates from UP.

Clearly, Gadkari, 30 years younger to Advani, chose not to discuss the issue with senior party leaders.

So, if BJP secretary Kirit Somaiya was caught off-guard after Kushwaha's induction into the party, it was also because he had only last weekend met Central Bureau of Investigation director A P Singh, asking him to act against the former BSP minister.

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Somaiya had even submitted several documents to the probe agency's chief as evidence against Kushwaha.

 

To make matters worse for the BJP, CBI investigators raided 60 places across UP in pursuance of its inquiry into the NRHM scam when Kushwaha was the minister.


The latest development has not been a sole matter of difference between Gadkari and Advani. The BJP president has decided to give election ticket (Amritsar East) to the wife of cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu, MP. This, when Advani is a staunch believer that the BJP must keep away from "dynasty politics" -- one thing the principal opposition party keeps accusing the ruling Congress of.

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