Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) supremo Mayawati said on Tuesday that the Rs 100-plus crore detected by the Enforcement Directorate in her party’s account was deposited in bank following due procedures.
Addressing a press conference in Lucknow, the former Uttar Pradesh chief minister said: “The money belongs to the party...I have been in UP since August 31 and collected money through donations. The money was collected before demonetisation.”
On Monday, the Enforcement Directorate detected cash deposits totalling 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.
Officials said they visited the Karol Bagh branch of the United Bank of India and found huge deposits made in these two accounts after the government’s demonetisation exercise.
But Mayawati blamed some BJP-managed channels and newspapers for blowing the matter allegedly out of proportion.
Defending her brother, she said: “My younger brother Anand has his own business and deposited money in bank accounts according to IT rules.”
She also accused Centre’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of using the state machinery to malign the BSP ahead of the elections to the Uttar Pradesh assembly.
“Casteist forces don’t want a Dalit woman to come up,” she said.
Mayawati said she had faith in the people of Uttar Pradesh and expressed confidence that they will support the BSP despite the allegations.
Targeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Mayawati demanded that he should make public deposits made by the BJP in 10 months before the November 8 decision of demonetising Rs 1,000 and Rs 500 banknotes.
“One more decision like demonetisation by the BJP, and BSP will not need to spend much to win UP elections,” she said, launching an attack on the government move that has drawn flak from the Opposition.
“To divert the public attention from the promises made in the Lok Sabha polls, Modi, without any preparation and in haste, implemented demonetisation which has now become a ‘gale ki haddi’ (albatross around the neck),” said Mayawati.
She also alleged that the BJP, Congress and the Samajwadi Party (SP) were having a tacit understanding for the polls.
Amid reports that the Congress and the ruling SP were in negotiations, Mayawati alleged such an alliance was dependent on a green signal from the BJP.
“Anticipating the BSP would come back to power, the BJP is using ED and the CBI to pressurise Mulayam Singh Yadav to toe its line and divide the Muslim vote,” she said, asking the minority voters to choose the BSP.
In his response, Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said: “Mayawati cannot hide corruption in the garb of Dalit cause.”