Amid reports that Akhilesh Yadav may be quizzed by the CBI in the illegal sand mining case, the Opposition Monday accused the BJP of “political vendetta” and of “misusing the agencies”. While the Aam Aadmi Party accused the BJP of “shamelessly unleashing” the probe agency on Yadav, BSP chief Mayawati called it a “political vendetta to malign the SP-BSP alliance”.
According to the FIR made public on Saturday, the Samajwadi Party chief may face a CBI probe in connection with the illegal sand mining that took place in Uttar Pradesh between 2012 and 2016. Yadav was the CM and also held the mining portfolio during 2012-13. The CBI also carried out searches at 14 locations to probe the case.
Targeting the BJP, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal slammed the government for “shamelessly unleashing” the CBI on Akhilesh Yadav and said it was time to throw out “this dictatorial and undemocratic regime”. Addressing reporters outside Parliament, Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad accused the BJP of “misusing the agencies.” “Now that the reports of SP-BSP alliance have come, raids have started against Akhilesh. This was expected, whoever speaks against them (BJP) is raided, that’s how this government is running,” said Congress leader Kapila Sibal.
The Samajwadi Party, too, has termed the raids a “vendetta.” Party leader Ram Gopal Yadav said the move will backfire on the BJP. He also said the party will not get a chance to put their “feet in Uttar Pradesh” and that the Prime Minister will have to look for another constituency to contest 2019 Lok Sabha polls, reported news agency ANI. “If a UP minIster organises a press conference in Delhi and asks for a CBI probe against Akhilesh, what conclusion can you draw from it? It’ll backfire on them and BJP won’t even get to put their feet in UP. PM Modi will have to leave Varanasi and fight elections from elsewhere.”
Taking a jibe at the BJP, BSP leader S C Mishra said the government is forming a “new alliance with CBI” as their previous allies are leaving them, reported ANI. “In land-mafia case FIR is against the officer, that officer violated law made by govt in allotment process, how does that make then CM Akhilesh Yadav Ji responsible for it?” he added.
Responding to the developments, former Uttar Pradesh CM Akhilesh Yadav said, “Now we have to tell the CBI as to how many seats we have distributed in the gathbandhan. I am happy that at least the BJP has shown its colours. Earlier, the Congress gave us the chance to meet the CBI, and this time it is the BJP, which has given us this opportunity.” “Why is the CBI conducting raids. Whatever they want to ask, they can ask me. However, the BJP should remember that the culture it is leaving behind, it may have to face it in the future,” he said.
The BJP, however, rubbished the Opposition parties allegations saying the probe agency does not work keeping elections in mind. “Akhilesh ji you cannot loot, & beat your chest over it. You’ve looted the people & law is taking its course. In 2016 Allahabad HC took cognizance of the matter & gave it to CBI. CBI does not work keeping in mind timing of elections or gathbandhans,” ANI quoted UP minister and BJP leader Sidharth Nath Singh as saying.