‘CBI probe is poll-time conspiracy’
Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati said on Saturday that she would not be intimated by the fresh CBI probe into the pending disproportionate assets case. At a press conference in New Delhi, she alleged a UPA-Samajwadi Party (SP) conspiracy to frame her.
Pointing out that the UPA government and the CBI are entirely silent on a similar case pending against SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav, she said the CBI counter affidavit in the Supreme Court was a part of the “behind-the-scene conspiracy” against her. She also alleged that she was being made a victim of a “media trial”.
She said all political parties at the Centre had misused the CBI against her and such campaigns were usually launched before every election. Mayawati, however, refrained from commenting on her reported attempts to break away Samajwadi Party MPs and her strategy on the trust vote.
Sharing the dais with Mayawati was senior party leader Satish Chandra Mishra, who said the party would explore all legal options to defend Mayawati, including the possibility of filing a defamation case against the CBI director.
Political observers, meanwhile, say there could be a sympathy wave for Mayawati because of the manner in which the CBI investigations began afresh after the coming together of the SP and the Congress. Also, there is as yet no sign of an anti-incumbency sentiment in the state.
Apparently, the BSP remains unfazed in the face of the emerging SP-Congress-RLD alliance to challenge the electoral base of the party in UP. Contrary to expectations that Mayawati may join the UNPA for the coming Lok Sabha polls, it is likely that she may go it alone.
For, her joining the UNPA — which has Om Prakash Chautala's INLD as one of the constituents — would affect her recent efforts to develop a non-Jat alternative in Haryana. Her success in weaning away the Dalit vote depends largely on how she cashes in on the anti-Jat sentiment among Dalits. At a recent rally at Karnal, she promised a non-Jat chief minister if she came to power in Haryana.
Also, given her attempts to woo Muslims in UP following the SP’s bonhomie with the UPA, it seems unlikely that Mayawati will enter into a pre-electoral pact with the BJP. “We are not concerned about any grand alliance against us in UP,” a senior BSP leader told the HT.
While a Mulayam Singh-Ajit Singh tie-up seems formidable on paper in the Jat and Muslim dominated areas of western UP, academicians Sudha Pai and Vivek Kumar insist that the Jats of western UP on Saturday cannot be seen as a homogenous chunk that will follow Ajit Singh.
From enlisting caste groups through alliances with parties like the SP or BJP in the 1990s, Mayawati is now focusing on reaching out directly to people from different castes and communities through her Bhaichara Committees and Sarv Samaj rhetoric.