The ruling Samajwadi Party (SP) on Saturday inducted the wife and brother of scam-tainted former BSP Minister Babu Singh Kushwaha into its fold, drawing flak from opposition parties.

“Shiv Kanya Kushwaha and Shiv Saran Kushwaha along with their supporters are joining SP expressing faith in the ideology of the party and its supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav,” SP spokesman Rajendra Chaudhary announced while talking to reporters here.

He claimed that their joining would increase the strength of the Samajwadi Party in the next Lok Sabha elections.

On a question regarding joining of Mr. Kushwaha’s kin in the SP against whom the party itself had opened a front, the spokesman replied, “Don’t they have right to work in the field of politics or the right to serve the people?”

Mr. Chaudhary said that SP has been working for social equality and it was part of its principle, adding that legal action was being taken against Mr. Kushwaha.

Mr. Kushwaha is an accused in National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) and Labour and Construction Cooperative Federation (LACCFED) scams during the party regime.

Currently, he is lodged in jail in connection with NRHM scam.

Induction draws flak from parties

Meanwhile, the induction of Mr. Kushwaha’s kin in SP evoked sharp reaction from the opposition parties, including arch rival BSP.

In Lakhimpur, Union Minister of State for Human Resource and Development Jitin Prasada ridiculed the SP leadership for inducting Mr. Kushwaha’s close kin into the party.

“I have always said that Samajwadi Party keeps double standards, whether on corruption or on law and order or corrupt persons,” he alleged.

“They (SP leaders) talked differently before Assembly polls, but after coming to power they brought in those tainted leaders into their own party, whom they opposed and even condemned earlier,” he added.

Meanwhile, BSP criticised the SP for inducting Mr. Kushwaha’s wife and brother, saying the step proved that the party is the “shelter ground” for the corrupt elements.

“Soon after coming to power, the SP had ordered probes by SIT, vigilance and others against Kushwaha and now they are inducting his close family members in the party,” Leader of Opposition in the Vidhan Sabha and senior BSP leader Swami Prasad Maurya told reporters in Lucknow.

BJP also flayed the ruling party over the move, alleging that it is a party with “dual character.”

“While on one hand FIRs are being lodged against Kushwaha, his wife and brother are being made member of ruling SP. Now SP must tell the people what message it wants to give and what deal has been struck,” BJP’s chief spokesman Vijay Bahadur Pathak said.

Meanwhile, the State secretary of SP’s Adhivakta Sabha (lawyers’ cell), Vinod Pandey has opposed the induction of the wife and brother of NRHM scam accused Babu Singh Kushwaha into the party.

“I am personally opposed to the induction of relatives of Kushwaha who is facing corruption charges as it would not be good for the party’s image,” Pandey told PTI.

Stressing that he would apprise the party president Mulayam Singh Yadav and Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav of his viewpoint soon, Mr. Pandey said that the final decision on continuance of the two would be that of the party chief.