With the spectre of CBI cases looming large over them, SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav and BSP supremo Mayawati are being manoeuvred with dexterity, it seems, by the Congress to further its political interests, and the manner in which both leaders extended their support to UPA Presidential candidate Pranab Mukherjee underlines the argument.
It is quite evident that the Congress has been ‘using’ the probe agency to garner the support of the two parties in the last eight years since the formation of the UPA Government.
Rajiv Shukla, an emissary of the Congress and Union Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs, was here recently to get the signature of Mayawati endorsing her support for Pranab. To further appease the Congress, Mayawati has decided to send her deputy Satish Chand Mishra to accompany Pranab when he files the nomination papers for the Presidential poll.
For the record, Mayawati says she has been supporting the UPA since its first edition, so it would obviously support the Congress candidate. Highly placed sources told Express that Income Tax Department ‘favoured’ the BSP chief in the DA case when Pranab was at the helm of the Finance Ministry.
The Income Tax Appellate Authority had given a clean chit to Mayawati and had recommended that the CBI should not pursue the case against her. But things are not as simple for the BSP leadership.
“We have clinching evidence against her in the disproportionate assets case and the chargesheet against her is ready,” CBI sources said.
It seems that the ‘CBI fear’ is equally haunting Mulayam as well. In March 2007, the CBI, following the directions of the Supreme Court responding to a PIL, registered a case under the Prevention of Corruption Act against former UP chief minister Mulayam and his family members in a disproportionate assets case. Even after five years, the case is still pending. A tough stand by the CBI could cloud the political career of the Yadav family ruling UP.
Mulayam wants the UPA to declare a financial package for the state so the his party can fulfil its promises.