New Delhi/Lucknow: The induction of tainted former UP Minister Babu Singh Kushwaha in BJP on Wednesday drew flak alike from its friends and foes, who said that it exposed the "hollowness" of anti-corruption campaign led by L K Advani.

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Claiming that the BJP has become a "dustbin" for corrupt people, the Congress took a jibe at Advani, saying "he probably took out a rath yatra looking for such people".

"Till the time they are in other parties, they are corrupt but the day they join BJP, they have taken a holy dip in the Ganges," Congress spokesperson Rashid Alvi told reporters after the CBI conducted searches at 60 places, including at the residence of Kushwaha to probe alleged irregularities in the Rs 10,000 crore funds allocated under the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) when he was a minister in the Mayawati Cabinet.   

Congress leader from UP Pramod Tiwari said, "BJP had said that Kushwaha had a big role to play in the NRHM scam. The party has become a dustbin of criminals and is an inn for such characters."

 "This step has proved the hollowness of the statements of leaders like L K Advani and Sushma Swaraj in parliament and indicates that the target of BJP is not to fight corruption but to somehow reach power," UPCC chief Rita Bahuguna Joshi said in Lucknow.
   
Senior leader Digvijay Singh used the opportunity to rub Team Anna, asking its members Arvind Kejriwal, Kiran Bedi and the Bhushans to comment on this action of BJP.

BJP ally JD(U) expressed "regret" over the induction of Kushwaha.

"I believe that the tainted people in Uttar Pradesh should not get tickets. As far as BJP is concerned, it is our ally and I regret the development," JD(U) chief Sharad Yadav said.

The Samajwadi party said the BJP's move had exposed then real face and character of the party.

"The BJP is hand in glove in BSP's corruption. Joining of Kushwaha has exposed the party's real face and character," SP spokesman Rajendra Chowdhury said.

He said the BJP, which "had made a lot of hue and cry" on the issue of corruption, was making absurd excuses after taking Kushwaha into the party.

Meanwhile, resentment was also brewing in the Uttar Pradesh unit of BJP with state executive members today demanding that Kushwaha be expelled due to the corruption cases against him.

"Kushwaha is the most corrupt person and was a close aide of Mayawati. He has reached a milestone as far as corruption is concerned and the party workers cannot tolerate such a person. He should be immediately removed from the party," BJP state executive member and former state minister I P Singh said.He said that BJP state president Surya Pratap Shahi should also be relieved from the post for inducting Kushwaha as he has made a mistake for which he cannot be forgiven.

Asked after future course of action, Singh said that not only him, a number of party leaders were in touch of central leadership against Kushwaha and he hoped he would be removed from the party.

"Not only Kushwaha, but all those corrupt persons who were taken in the party recently should be removed from the party with immediate effect," he said.

Yadav said, "UP has turned into a pond where the candidates are moving in all directions just like fish. Parties have closed their eyes just to win election. Elections without good ideology, discipline and clean behaviour will never be able to reform the nation."

(Agencies)