New Delhi: Facing all round criticism over inducting tainted former Uttar Pradesh minister Babu Singh Kushwaha, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Sunday said his membership has been suspended.

A party spokesperson told reporters Sunday that Kushwaha himself sought his membership to be suspended till he is proven innocent in a rural health scam. His request was accepted by party president Nitin Gadkari.

“Kushwaha-ji wrote to the party president asking him to suspend his membership until he is proven innocent, the president has accepted it,” party spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain said here.

Kushwaha, an OBC leader and former minister from Uttar Pradesh was inducted in BJP Tuesday with an eye on the assembly polls in Uttar Pradesh. However, it kicked up a storm of protests with many in the party voicing unhappiness over his alleged involvement in the National Rural Health Mission fund scam in the state.

According to sources, several senior leaders including LK Advani and Sushma Swaraj were also against his induction in the party, which has been targetting the Congress over corruption and is trying to lead an anti-corruption campaign.

Kushwaha now under ED scanner

Meanwhile, the Enforcement Directorate, India's premier probe agency for money laundering, is studying the alleged multi-crore Uttar Pradesh rural health scam and may register cases against the accused, including Babu Singh Kushwaha whose membership of the BJP has been suspended.

According to sources, the Enforcement Directorate has started going through the First Information Reports (FIR) registered by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in connection with the alleged largescale bungling in the Rs.10,000 crore National Rural Health Mission in Uttar Pradesh.

The directorate may register a case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) or under the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) if there has been any violation of the two laws, the sources said.

Kushwaha, a former Uttar Pradesh Family Welfare minister, has been named by the CBI as one of the accused in the alleged embezzlement.

He was sacked from the state's ruling Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) last November and joined the BJP last week ahead of the February elections in Uttar Pradesh.

His induction into the BJP drew widespread flak and also triggered a possible split in the party. On Saturday Kushwaha offered that his membership to the party be suspended till he is cleared of corruption charges, which was accepted.

The CBI is investigating the case and on Thursday searched at least 60 locations in Uttar Pradesh and Delhi including the offices and residences of Kushwaha and his aides.

(Agencies)