Despite the shrill debate on Lokpal and anti-graft measures,political parties in Uttar Pradesh are showing little aversion to fielding tainted MLAs mostly BSP discards to boost their poll prospects.
The BJP,which has been clamouring for a strong Lokpal,on Tuesday inducted Babu Singh Kushwaha and Badshah Singh into the party. Ministers in the Mayawati government,they were sacked on graft charges.
While Badshah Singh was shown the door early on after the Lokayukta found alleged irregularities in the Labour Ministry,Kushwaha was sacked for alleged involvement in the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) scam. Kushwaha,in fact,is being probed by the CBI in connection with the scam that is believed to be the reason behind the murders of two CMOs and death of deputy CMO Y S Sachan.
Incidentally,the BJP has been mounting a scathing attack on the BSP government over the NRHM scam.
The BJP has been sympathetic towards Mayawatis other sacked ministers too. A couple of days ago,it reached out to sacked Backward Classes Welfare Minister Awadhesh Kumar Verma. Sensing the BJPs stance,Fateh Bahadur Singh,who was sacked recently as he was facing a Lokayukta inquiry,has reached out to BJPs Yogi Adityanath to open talks.
If BJP is leading the pack,others are not far behind.
Main opposition Samajwadi Party has decided to field Bhagwan Sharma alias Guddu Pandit from Debai. Pandit was booked in two cases after he won the 2007 polls on a BSP ticket. In 2008,he was arrested after a research scholar in Agra University accused him of rape.
It has also fielded Rajmati Nishad,wife of Jamuna Nishad,from Pipraich. Jamuna died in a mishap after he was sacked by Mayawati for leading a mob attack on a police station.
The SP has fielded Mitra Sen Yadav from Bikapur in Faizabad district despite a district court recently sentencing him to seven years RI in an embezzlement case. The verdict,however,has been stayed by the higher court. Yadavs son Anand Sen Yadav was earlier sacked by Mayawati from her Cabinet in the wake of a rape case.
History-sheeter D P Yadav,a BSP MLA,has emerged as a bone of contention in SPs leadership with Azam Khan favouring his re-induction and Akhilesh Yadav opposing it.
Though the Congress has been cautious,ally RLD has taken in Bijnore MLA Shahnawaz Rana,whose aides and kin were chargesheeted in a kidnap-gangrape case in June last year. On Monday,Ajit Singh inducted suspended BSP MLA Haji Yaqub Qureshi,infamous for announcing a Rs 51-crore bounty on the head of a Dutch cartoonist in 2006.