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Last Updated: Tuesday, 24 February, 2004, 16:19 GMT
BJP drops MP over criminal links
DP Yadav
DP Yadav has a controversial past
India's ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has suspended a member with alleged criminal links.

DP Yadav was removed four days after he joined the party amid a fanfare of publicity.

Now he has been unceremoniously dumped after widespread criticism of the decision to admit him.

Mr Yadav, a member of India's upper house of parliament, is accused of several criminal acts including gangsterism.

He was welcomed into the BJP fold at a widely attended press conference in Delhi earlier this month.

His son, Vikas Yadav, also attended the function. He is accused of murdering a model and abducting a civil servant's son who was later found dead.

The move to induct Mr Yadav was trumpeted by some BJP leaders, but met with a chorus of condemnation from the media and opposition politicians.

Election prospects

Mr Yadav was drafted in to help win badly-needed votes for the BJP in politically-crucial Uttar Pradesh state.

But analysts say the party had to suspend him after realising that his controversial past would affect the party's prospects in the forthcoming general elections.

Vehicle adorned with BJP portraits
The BJP has hit the road for early polls
Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee was recently asked by journalists why Mr Yadav had been admitted to the party.

"We are of the view that criminals should not be allowed to enter politics. I do not want to dwell on individual names," Mr Vajpayee said.

The Hindu nationalist Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) - the ideological fountainhead of the BJP - was also unhappy that the line between crime and politics had been blurred.

A number of Indian politicians, including state chief ministers, have been convicted in criminal cases in India.

A study by the independent election commission found that the nexus between crime and politics threatened every area of the nation's life.

Newspapers are full of reports of criminal gangs supporting political parties and candidates.

Indian election laws bans people with criminal convictions from standing for six years.

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