LUCKNOW: A day after the attachment of a ‘benami’ plot worth Rs 400 crore of her brother, BSP chief Mayawati on Friday tried to turn the tables on ruling BJP by questioning the source of huge amount of money it allegedly got to fund its elections.
However, the situation seems to be tricky for the BSP chief as she will find it difficult to explain the sources of her brother’s wealth to her voters in upcoming by-polls to 12 assembly seats in UP and the battle of Lucknow in 2022.
Taking afront of the action of Income Tax department against her brother and BSP vice president Anand Kumar’s benami property measuring around seven acres in Noida on Thursday, Mayawati accused BJP and RSS of having a ‘casteist’ mindset. “They can’t see a dalit or deprived rising and growing in business through hard work and diligence. They are using official machinery to torment opponents,” she claimed.
Asking the BJP to reveal the sources of Rs 2000 crore it allegedly collected during elections, Mayawati asked it it was benami as no one knew its sources. She was reading out her statement to media here on Friday.
Asking the BJP to introspect before raising fingers at others, Mayawati said that the ruling party should also get the properties owned by its leaders and their relatives probed and see how much had they grown over the years after stepping in the politics.
Notably, a provisional order for the attachment of the seven-acre plot, beneficially owned by Anand and his wife Vichiter Lata, was issued by the I-T department’ Delhi-based Benami Prohibition Unit (BPU) on July 16.
The subsequent attachment of the property came through on Thursday. Currently, Anand owns a dozen firms and an alleged wealth worth Rs 1300 crore. On the contrary, the political pundits believe that it was a tricky situation for the BSP chief who is already on the radar of probe agencies over the sale of 21 sugar mills and the construction of memorials during her last tenure as CM in 2007-2012.
Moreover, after attachment of the plot and an imminent action by the Enforcement Directorate, Mayawati would find it difficult to come out clean from the controversies and give a satisfactory explanation to her cadre and core voters over the wealth amassed by her brother.
At a time when she has decided to pitch in for the upcoming bypolls to 12 assembly sets in UP, the real problem would be to convince the Dalit voters and save her image of their messiah. “Organisations like Bhim Army and others have got a handle to target the BSP over the issue of benami properties,” said Prof AK Mishra, a senior political scientist.
“It will certainly impact the prospects of BSP in upcoming bypolls and 2022 state assembly polls, especially, when Mayawati has appointed her relatives to senior party positions by sidelining dedicated leaders,” said a recently expelled BSP leader.
“Mayawati has lost the track of the mission launched by Kanshi Ram. She is following the path of those dynasts who assume party as their personal property,” said a former BSP leader seeking anonymity.
A BSP coordinator, who sought anonymity, vented his ire by saying that the blue brigade would suffer major reverses in the days to come if it was not taken out from the clutches of one family. He was quick to cite Congress’ example.
Talking about the growing discontent among party ranks and files, a BSP leader said that Mayawati’s one-sided dictatorial decisions were leading the veteran and dedicated leaders away from the party.