LUCKNOW: Accusing the BJP led Central government of indulging in politics of vendetta by “misusing CBI” against political rivals with regard to Saturday CBI raids across UP and Delhi in a case illegal mining and the possible quizzing of SP chief Akhilesh Yadav, Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati called up the SP chief expressing her solidarity with him on Monday.
The BSP chief assured Akhilesh of standing by him and taking on the BJP together. Charging the ruling party of with playing “dirty tricks” and ‘electoral conspiracy”, Mayawati made the phone call to Akhilesh amid reports that he might be questioned by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in the illegal sand mining case of Hamirpur leading the CBI to conduct raids across 14 locations on Saturday. She told Akhilesh that it was the old tactic of the ruling party and even she and her party had also been on its target.
There were reports that then UP chief minister Akhilesh might also be questioned by the CBI as he was holding the mining portfolio in 2012-13 when irregularities were committed by the then Hamripur DM and UP cadre IAS officer of 2008 batch B Chandrakala in granting 60 licences for mineral mining depute NGT’s ban.
“Mayawati told Akhilesh that people were aware of BJP’s dirty tricks which were not new. She asked him not to worry and that they would fight strongly against such conspiracies,” said a BSP statement released to the media. The SP chief has questioned the timing of the raids and said he is “ready to take up any challenge.”
“Why did they take six years to include me in the probe? No one had ever questioned or investigated my role till now. In six years, no notice, no mention of my name was ever made. Suddenly, the ruling dispensation decided to probe my role as a minister. It’s a second thought, a desperate move by the BJP leadership to browbeat us,” he said, linking the raids to an SP-BSP alliance in UP for 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
An inquiry into alleged illegal mining in Hamirpur commenced in 2016 after the Allahabad High Court ordered the premier probe agency to take over the case following allegations that public servants, in criminal conspiracy with other accused, allowed illegal mining of minor minerals in the district between 2012 and 2016. It was alleged that they illegally granted fresh leases for mining of sand, renewed existing leases and permitted obstructed period to the existing leaseholders, thereby causing losses to the government exchequer.