Infighting in the BSP took an ugly turn Thursday when veteran leader Naseemuddin Siddiqui, who had been expelled a day earlier with his son Afzal for “anti-party activities”, released seven audio clips and claimed he had 150 CDs on party chief Mayawati. He alleged that she had demanded Rs 50 crore from him after the party’s rout in the UP assembly elections. Less than two hours later, Mayawati told reporters at her residence that Siddiqui was a “taping blackmailer”, that there was “nothing new” in the audio clips he had released since these had been “edited by him because they have my voice but not his”.
She claimed Siddiqui had party “books of membership” but had not done their “settlement”, and in the phone conversations, she was telling him to do that. In the audio clips Siddiqui released, Mayawati repeatedly mentions “kitab” (books) and “hisaab” (settlement).
In one clip, she is heard saying, “Jis ko aapne membership ki kitab dilayi thi, usne hisaab nahi kiya hai, us se baat karo”. In another clip, she tells Siddiqui “party ko aap ne diya nahi, party ne aap ko bahut kuchch diya hai, aap 9 ko aao, phir baat karna, membership ki kitab hai toh sabko member banana hoga”.
Mayawati told reporters: “I told him that you will have to give this money because party workers are telling me that you have it. This is a party of the poor and oppressed and it is their money.” She alleged Siddiqui kept 50 per cent of the membership money from western UP while the remaining 50 per cent reached the party office. She did not disclose the amount involved.
She said she had told Siddiqui that her phone was “tapped”, so he should not speak to her on phone about “useless matters” when he said he would sell his properties to give her the money. Earlier, Siddiqui, while addressing a press conference at his residence where several from the BSP who had quit were also present, alleged that she had been “torturing” him to give her the money.
He told reporters that Mayawati called him to a meeting after the elections and said the party needed money. “She told me that I have to arrange Rs 50 crore. I said how will I bring so much money. She told me to sell my property. I said even if I sell my entire property, it will not be even one-fourth of your requirement. She then asked me to get the money from relatives and those known to me,” he alleged.
“She told me that if I give her the money, she will make me grow in the party. ‘You will grow the way you have in the past,’ she told me,” Siddiqui claimed. He said he failed to raise the money and went to meet Mayawati at her residence where BSP general secretary Satish Chandra Misra and her brother Anand Kumar “misbehaved” with him.
Rejecting the charges, Mayawati said she will take legal opinion whether the party should file an FIR against Siddiqui. He, on his part, claimed he had 150 CDs on Mayawati and will release more material that will “cause an earthquake in the whole world, not just the country” and “I will release them one by one”.