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Maya seeks CBI probe into controversial CD

UP CM alleges her political adversaries have a hand in the circulation of the controversial CD.
IANS | By HT Correspondent, Lucknow
UPDATED ON MAR 12, 2008 05:39 PM IST

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati on Wednesday sought a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into the circulation of a controversial CD showing Lord Ram as anti-Dalit, and maintained that her political adversaries had a hand in it.

"Since the CD titled Teesri Azadi contains venomous material aimed at forging a casteist divide in society, for which accusing fingers have been pointed at a Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) MP, I took a decision to hand over the case to the CBI," Mayawati told a press conference in Lucknow.

Interestingly, this is the seventh case in which Mayawati has recommended a CBI probe after she assumed power 10 months ago.

While issuing directives for seizing the CD across the state, she said: "We have already arrested three people in this connection and registered cases against them as well as the TV channel that aired the contents of the CD."

The CD, claiming to be a version of Ramayana and labelled Teesri Azadi, depicts Ram as being anti-Dalit and is inflammatory in nature. It also condemned upper caste Hindus, particularly Brahmins and Thakurs. News channel CNN-IBN showed clippings from the CD.

An organisation called Ambedkar Boudhik Sanghathan is said to have created and circulated the CD. While BSP MP Lalmani Prasad admitted that he was associated with the organisation, he denied he had anything to do with the CD, as has been alleged.

The chief minister too gave Prasad a clean chit.

"I personally made inquiries from my Basti MP, Lal Mani Prasad, who admitted his past association with the Ambedkar Boudhik Sanghathan, which is attributed with the making the CD. But that was only well before he joined the BSP, after which he had no association with that organisation," Mayawati asserted.

She also pointed fingers at her political adversaries, alleging that they might have had a role in making the CD.

"Since preliminary inquiries have revealed that the CD has been in circulation for the past few years, I have reason to believe that the past governments under the Congress, Samajwadi Party (SP) and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had some hand in preparing the CD," she said.

"If they were not behind this controversial CD, then why was no action initiated by any of these governments?" she asked.

"My political opponents, Congress, BJP and SP, have started resorting to such dirty tactics ever since they found that members of the upper caste too were coming into the BSP fold," she alleged.

"These parties were only interested in misguiding the upper castes by playing such divisive politics."

"Today, they all may be trying to brand BSP as casteist, but then they must answer why they aligned with us at different points of time," she said, while specifying the periods when the Congress, BJP and Samajwadi Party had struck political deals with her party.

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