Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati has lashed out at Centre for allegedly implicating her in false corruption charges. She claimed the Centre was targeting her as she was a Dalit. She said BJP leaders having casteist mentality and they do not want that a ‘dalit ki beti’ should get the master key of the biggest state’s politics.
Here’s what happened:
* Enforcement Directorate had reportedly detected cash deposits totaling over Rs 104 crore in an account belonging to the BSP and Rs 1.43 crore in an account belonging to Mayawati’s brother Anand in a branch of United Bank of India in New Delhi.
* The agency found that while Rs 102 crore had been deposited in Rs 1,000 notes, the remaining Rs 3 crore had been deposited in old Rs 500 notes. Officials said that about Rs 15-17 crore were being deposited into these accounts every other day. In Anand’s account, ED officials found old notes worth Rs 18.98 lakh.
* The ED has also asked the bank to provide it some CCTV footage and the KYC documents used to open the accounts.
* Mayawati said the party has members all over India and they usually donate in big notes in party office.
* The BSP supremo called it party money and said the BSP followed rules and as per its procedure deposited this money in banks. She said the entire money is accounted for.
* She alleged the BJP is misusing the state machinery to malign the BSP and it is a political conspiracy.
* Mayawati allged that there was a nexus between the ruling party and media to deliberately tarnish the BSP’s image ahead of the 2017 Uttar Pradesh assembly polls.
* She targeted PM Modi and demanded that he should make public any major expense, statement of deposits and expenditures from the BJP’s bank accounts, during the 10 months prior to November 8 and in the period thereafter.
* “After I exposed the conspiracy of BJP in forcing an alliance between SP and Congress yesterday, BJP was taken aback and out of sheer frustration it indulged in such a petty act against BSP and family members of the party chief,” she said.
* The BSP chief thanked the BJP and party president Amit Shah, stating that the tactics of the BJP will her gain full majority in the upcoming election, just like allegations towards her helped win the election in 2007.
This is how BJP responded:
* Mayawati cannot hide corruption in the garb of caste politics.
* Mayawati’s response didn’t address the issue of money being deposited in her account.
* “She (Mayawati) did not deny the fact that the deposits were made. The main question is whether these were donations made to the political party or a case of money conversion,” Union Minister for Electronics and Information Technology, Ravi Shankar Prasad, said.
How other parties reacted:
* Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan slammed Mayawati for linking the Enforcement Directorate action against BSP to her being a Dalit, and said her Dalit origin does not give her a “licence” to indulge in corruption and she should let the law take its own course.
* “My party LJP works for Dalits. We have six Lok Sabha members and the total money in LJP’s bank account is Rs 1,03,198,” Paswan said.
* A senior Samajwadi Party leader said: “This was not an amount which was found stashed away in homes or lockers. This was an amount deposited in the bank after demonetization. It should not be made a political issue.”
Though elections are always a game of mud-slinging and if it’s Uttar Pradesh, things are bound to get murkier. The big question this time why there was such a huge and successive deposits following the demonetisation move.