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Updated: January 8, 2012 03:07 IST

Kushwaha approached us but was denied entry, says Rahul

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A file picture of AICC general secretary Rahul Gandhi at a meeting with farmers of Uttar Pradesh ( Bundelkhand ) in New Delhi. Photo: Special Arrangement.
A file picture of AICC general secretary Rahul Gandhi at a meeting with farmers of Uttar Pradesh ( Bundelkhand ) in New Delhi. Photo: Special Arrangement.

RTI campaign of Indian Youth Congress exposed the former's murky dealings in NRHM scam, he claims

Hitting out at the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) over the induction of tainted former Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) Minister Babu Singh Kushwaha, Rahul Gandhi, Congress general secretary, on Saturday claimed he had approached his party first after being sacked by Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati but his plea to join the party fold was turned down.

Mr. Gandhi also said it was the Indian Youth Congress which through an effective RTI campaign had first exposed Mr. Kushwaha's murky dealings regarding implementation of National Rural Health Mission (NRHM). Mr. Kushwaha is facing a Central Bureau of Investigation probe in connection with the NRHM scam.

The AICC general secretary was addressing a political rally in Pipraich in this eastern Uttar Pradesh district.

Mentioning Mr. Kushwaha's relationship with Ms. Mayawati's ‘magic elephant,' which “eats the poor man's money,” he said: “Kushwaha was probably the second or third, or maybe even the first amongst those in Uttar Pradesh who fed the elephant.” Elephant is BSP's poll symbol.

When finally the BSP supremo expelled him from the party, Mr. Gandhi told the crowd that he came to the Congress seeking protection but the party refused. “We said you will go to jail.”

“But who do you think took him in?” Mr. Gandhi asked, and once more the people roared back, “BJP.”

“The same party that sold you Shri Ram's name for votes, was bought by Kushwaha,” he said.

“And they dare to speak about corruption,” he said, adding that “the BJP first sold you religion, and you voted for them, what did they give you? Progress, development?.

“Then the Samajwadi Party used jaati to get your votes, and what sort of government did they usher in? There were gangsters in police stations, and common citizens couldn't register complaints,” Mr. Gandhi added.

‘Frontrunner in graft'

Mr. Gandhi alleged that Mr. Kushwaha was a frontrunner in UP's corruption sweepstakes, and amongst the top leaders who fed the “magical note-eating elephant in Lucknow.”

“The BSP only gave you laathi, dandaa and Kushwaha,” and when the BSP finally threw him out of the party, the BJP welcomed him with open arms, he said, adding that “just a few days ago, L.K. Advani went on a nationwide rath yatra against corruption. But who did they induct into their party just now?” and the crowd roared, “Kushwaha!”

The BJP has come under attack including from sections of the party over the induction of Mr. Kushwaha after the CBI's action in connection with the NRHM scam

Japanese Encephalitis

The Congress leader spoke about the deaths caused every year due to Japanese Encephalitis in Gorakhpur and neighbouring areas. “Thousands of children lose their lives here because of Encephalitis, why don't they receive proper medical care,” Mr. Gandhi asked.

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