Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati today blamed the opposition for the Allahabad blast which left one dead and five injured, including Institutional Finance (Stamps and Registration) Minister Nand Gopal Nandi.
Addressing a press conference here, she said, "It is quite evident that the July 12 blast was carried out to target my minister Nand Gopal Nandi, whose popularity had become an eyesore for the entire opposition."
"The fact that Nandi gave a devastating defeat to influential nominees of the Samajwadi Party, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Congress, signalled his emergence as the most popular leader of the area, thereby becoming a threat to different opposition parties," she said.
Describing the minister's assailants as "close associates" of Samajwadi Party's criminal-turned-legislator Vijay Misra, she said: "It is an open secret that Vijay Misra's kin Dilip Misra beat up Nandi whom they wanted forced out of the election fray."
"Nandi however decided to fight and gave them all a run for their money," she said.
"There are 30 criminal cases pending against Vijay Misra while Dilip Misra is involved in as many as 58 criminal cases," she said.
Citing incidents of violence and crime during different political regimes over the decades, the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) supremo lambasted different opposition parties which have sought to label her government's tenure as "jungle raj".
"As many as 38 politicians were murdered between 1991 and 2005, while there were 42 attempts to murder during the same period," she said.
"During Mulayam Singh Yadav's last stint between 2003 and 2007 alone three legislators, a former legislator and a former MP were killed in sensational attacks," she said.
"During my rule, we have not only taken all criminals to task but we have also seized their ill-gotten property and assets to the tune of Rs.230 crore over the past three years," she said.