BSP supremo Mayawati on Wednesday decided to steer clear of the controversy over the alleged murder of an executive engineer of Public Works Department (PWD).
The BSP chief said the party MLA Shekhar Tiwari was not collecting money for her birthday celebrations on her insistence.
A probe has been ordered into the incident.
Meanwhile, BJP on Wednesday slammed the incident and demanded justice for the deceased.
The supporters of BSP MLA Shekhar Tiwari allegedly lynched executive engineer of the Public Works Department (PWD) MK Gupta in Auraiya district as he refused to give money to them. The opposition alleged the MLA was collecting money for birthday celebrations of the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati.
According to information reaching here some supporters of the MLA barged into the house of the engineer late on Tuesday night and started beating him. They dragged him outside the house and took him to undisclosed place.
Gupta’s wife Shashi Gupta told the police that she was locked in bathroom before the criminals started beating her husband.
Additional director general (law and order) Brijlal said that BSP MLA Shekhar Tiwari brought Gupta to the Debiyapur police station around 3.30 am in critical condition and after dropping him there he escaped.
The police have registered murder case against Tiwari and his accomplices Tyagi and Bhatia, he said.
“The police have been conducting raids to arrest the absconding MLA and others”, Brijlal said, adding the “motive of the murder was not known”.
Reports said Gupta had sought police protection because of the repeated demands of money from the MLA. But the police did not pay any heed to the request.
Enraged UP engineers, demanding the arrest of Tiwari and others, have gone on strike in the state.
Brijlal said IG Bhanu Pratap and DIG Kanpur Kamal Saxena had reached Auraiyya to probe into the matter.
Sharply reacting to the murder, the Congress and Samajwadi Party assailed Mayawati of collecting huge fund for her birthday celebrations on January 15.
AICC General Secretary and UP incharge Digvijay Singh expressed shock over the incident.
"Large scale collection of money had been going on all over the state for her birthday. Singh said.
“Mayawati must reconsider her celebrations and collection of fund because it is absolutely criminal”, Singh said.
SP working president Shivpal Singh Yadav also flayed the BSP government for massive money collection all over the state.
Yadav said Mayawati had fixed amount for every party leader, including ministers, MLAs, MPs, and officers. Yadav held the chief minister directly responsible for the murder of the engineer.
"The chief minister has set a target of Rs 1,000 crore to be collected as 'birthday tax' for her birthday falling on January 15", Yadav alleged.
Yadav said that this was not the first incident by the BSP MLA. The same MLA just a few days ago bashed up Auraiya's Basic Shiksha Adhikari (BSA).
Despite a complaint against the MLA in the case, the police did not take any action against him, he said.