A DAY after reports that the Enforcement Directorate (ED) had detected cash deposits of over Rs 104 crore in an account belonging to her party post-demonetisation, BSP supremo Mayawati on Tuesday accused the “anti-Dalit” BJP of “misusing government machinery” to tarnish her image ahead of the Uttar Pradesh assembly elections. She claimed that the cash deposits were made “as per the rules”.
According to reports, the ED on Monday found that Rs 102 crore was deposited in Rs 1,000 notes while the remaining amount was deposited in old Rs 500 notes in the BSP’s account at the Union Bank of India’s (UBI) Karol Bagh branch. Another Rs 1.43 crore was reportedly found in an account belonging to Mayawati’s brother, Anand, at the same branch.
Addressing a press conference at her residence here on Tuesday, Mayawati alleged that the BJP used “a few managed news channels and newspapers which are funded by the moneybags” close to the ruling party to disseminate the “distorted information” about the cash deposits “as if it was black money”.
Claiming that she “is a lawyer who understands the rules”, Mayawati said both her party and brother had deposited the money in their accounts “as per the rules”.
“The money was collected through membership fees from all over the country and it was deposited in a routine procedure and as per rules. The workers who provide party membership prefer currency notes of larger denomination as they have to travel by plane. Most of this cash was collected between August 31 and mid-November, during the time I was in Lucknow. I told party workers that once I reach Delhi, the money would be deposited after calculating it. The demonetisation was announced before this. It was the party’s money, should we have thrown it away,” she said.
“I want to ask the BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi to also declare how much money the party deposited into its accounts before and after November 8, and how much money it has spent in this period,” she said.
Mayawati alleged that the “dirty action against the BSP leadership and my family members” came after she “exposed the BJP’s designs to get the Samajwadi Party to form an alliance with the Congress for the assembly elections at a press conference on Monday”.
She said “the anti-Dalit BJP” does not want a “Dalit’s daughter”, who will end “their and their capitalism’s rule”, to come to power in Uttar Pradesh. Mayawati said she has come to know “through special sources” that the BJP may “trouble important people in the BSP to make them inactive”.
She said BJP president Amit Shah has been mentioning the Taj Corridor case in his speeches, but her government had little to do with it as the project was undertaken by an agency of the central government.
“Our party leader Satish Chandra Misra has clarified this earlier. But maybe Amit Shah was sleeping at that time, so I would like to tell him again. The whole project was for Rs 175 crore, and only work worth Rs 17 crore were done during the BSP government. The work was done by a central government’s agency. I had nothing to do with it. I did not issue a single government order and no file was put before me,” she said.
Stating that the BJP’s attacks on her and its “misuse of government machinery” would benefit her politically, she said her party would form the next government with a bigger majority than in 2007, when the “BJP had used the disproportionate assets case against me as the main issue in the campaign”.
While the BSP has not disclosed the names of any of its donors in over a decade, claiming that all the donations were less than Rs 20,000, Mayawati said she would “welcome any general consensus created by the central government or the Election Commission” on making public the names of such donors too.
She, however, rejected the idea of all parties sharing details of their post-November 8 deposits and withdrawals in public domain, saying these details are already available to the Income-Tax authorities.