The Bahujan Samaj Party, the Congress and the Aam Aadmi Party on Monday came out in support of Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav amid reports the Central Bureau of Investigation may quiz him in an illegal mining case and accused the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance government of resorting to “vendetta politics”.
The possibility of the CBI questioning their party supremo also irked the Samajwadi Party MPs in the Lok Sabha where they kicked up a ruckus and tore and flung papers at the Speaker’s desk.
Facing flak, the CBI came out with details about the mining case in Uttar Pradesh with its officials claiming that the office of Yadav when he was the chief minister had cleared 13 projects in one single day.
The CBI claimed that Yadav, who also held the mining portfolio for some time, cleared 14 leases out of which 13 were approved on February 17, 2013 in violation of e-tendering process.
The CBI highlighted the role of Yadav after he accused the BJP government at the Centre of misusing the central probe agency for its political gains.
Ahead of a formal announcement of a pre-poll alliance with the SP, BSP chief Mayawati telephoned Yadav and extended her full support to him, telling him not to be shaken by any “gimmicks”.
“Do not be shaken by such gimmicks,” she told Yadav while dubbing any move by the CBI to quiz him as “political animosity” of the ruling BJP. The BSP chief also alleged that like the Congress, the BJP was “misusing” the government machinery to “trap” its opponents in false cases.
“The CBI raids and later the threat of quizzing by the CBI in a mining scam is nothing but political animosity of the BJP. Such petty politics and political conspiracy are not new for the BJP. The people of the country have understood it and they will teach the BJP a lesson in the Lok Sabha polls,” she said in a press release.
The release said that Mayawati called up Yadav on Sunday and talked to him over the issue.
“The day news of the SP-BSP top leadership meeting came out, the BJP government used the CBI and raids were conducted in an old mining scam and the news of quizzing Akhilesh Yadav was deliberately spread. Is it not an action to defame the SP-BSP alliance?” Mayawati said.
Yadav may face a CBI probe in a case of illegal mining, according to the agency FIR made public on Saturday, the day the SP and the BSP indicated their intent to join hands in Uttar Pradesh to fight the BJP in the Lok Sabha polls. The agency had also carried out searches at 14 locations.
“If this CBI action is not a political conspiracy, then why did BJP leaders issue statements and why did a BJP leader and minister acted as CBI spokesperson?” Mayawati asked.
Claiming that she was “framed” in the Taj corridor case in 2003 when she did not agree to an alliance for the 2004 general elections, Mayawati said, “But later people took revenge and the BSP got absolute majority in the 2007 assembly polls.”
According to the release, the BSP chief reminded Yadav of these past incidents and asked him not to get shaken while asserting that people will give a befitting reply to the BJP.
The BSP supremo also alleged that the BJP after coming to power in 2014 had been misusing government machinery for political gains and threatening rivals and giving relief “to BJP leaders in criminal cases”.
In the Lok Sabha, the ruckus created by the SP members led to adjournment of the House ahead of the scheduled time.
The SP members were protesting since the House reconvened after the weekend recess.
Congress members too were in the Well of the House holding placards demanding a Joint Parliamentary Committee probe on the Rafale jet deal.
The protests by SP, Congress, All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam and Telugu Desam Party led to three adjournments of Lok Sabha, before it was adjourned for the day by Speaker Sumitra Mahajan when SP members tore papers and flung them at her desk.
SP members stormed the Well of the House and tried to snatch the papers of Lok Sabha officials who were sitting at the desk of the Secretary General. Thet alleged a nexus between the Centre and the CBI in the sand mining case.
Dharmendra Yadav of the SP shouted slogans, alleging the CBI has become a “parrot of the BJP” and is “in alliance” with the ruling party.
The ruckus by SP members in the House gained in intensity after the passage of ‘The Personal Laws Amendment Bill, 2018’.
When the House started discussion on the next agenda item relating to natural calamities in various parts of the country, SP members started tearing papers, prompting the Speaker to adjourn the House for the day.
SP supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav was present in the House when his party members created a pandemonium.
The Congress accused the government of misusing probe agencies to target opposition leaders in an effort to stall an alliance ahead of the 2019 polls.
Senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad termed the CBI’s move against Yadav as “vendetta politics” of the BJP.
He also accused the BJP government of “misusing” probe agencies like the CBI, Enforcement Directorate and Income Tax to target opposition leaders.
“We strongly condemn it (CBI’s action against Yadav). Such politics and dictatorship cannot be allowed in India,” Azad said.
He alleged that the BJP government did not initiate any action for over four-and-a- half years and suddenly acted against Yadav when it is about to end its tenure.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal slammed the Modi government for “shamelessly unleashing” the CBI on Akhilesh Yadav and said it is time to throw out the NDA government, calling it a “dictatorial and undemocratic regime”.