A day after Mayawati made it clear for the first time that the electoral alliance/understanding between her Bahujan Samaj Party and Akhilesh Yadav’s Samajwadi Party will continue till the 2019 general elections, the Central Bureau of Investigation launched an investigation against the BSP chief in an old case dating back to 2010-11.
The alleged ‘sugar scam’ is related to disinvestment of 21 state-owned sugar mills in Uttar Pradesh in 2010-11, which allegedly caused a loss of ₹1,179 crore to the state government. It is alleged that under then Chief Minister Mayawati’s watch, state-owned sugar mills were sold at rates much lower than market rates. Of the 21 mills, 10 were operational at the time of disinvestment.
The Yogi Adityanath government has referred the alleged “scam” to the CBI for investigation on April 12. Asking the agency to investigate the “entire sale proceedings of 21 sugar mills”, the Yogi government had asked the agency to investigate the use of bogus companies and documents in the purchase of seven closed mills in Deoria, Bareilly, Laxmiganj, Hardoi, Ramkola, Chittauni and Barabanki.
Political observers that the CBI investigation against Mayawati is an act of political vendetta. It is believed that perturbed by the defeat in Gorakhpur and Phulpur Lok Sabha bypolls and the recent SP-BSP tie up for the upcoming Kairana bypoll, BJP is trying to wreck the unity of the opposition forces by (mis)using CBI
Calling the CBI inquiry a “pressure tactic” applied to tame Mayawati, a BSP leader claimed on the condition of anonymity that Behenji will continue to work with anti-BJP forces. “No matter how much pressure BJP government puts, she will not bow down. In fact, she will be the nucleus of the anti-BJP politics in 2019,” said the leader.
Two months after the Gorakhpur-Phulpur victory, while campaigning in Karnataka, Mayawati for the first time spoke on the issue of electoral alliance with SP. Speaking to NDTV, she said that the alliance will continue till 2019. On the question of seat sharing, she however said that both parties will decide in future.
“There is time for parliament election... When the election draws near, we will adjust seats and then declare,” she was quoted as saying by NDTV.
Denouncing BJP’s ideological parent RSS, she claimed that the unity of the secular forces is “frightening” the BJP and its ideological mentor as well. “These communal forces, they won’t like it that secular forces get united, organised and move forward,” she told NDTV.
Predicting an unexpected turn in Karnataka assembly election, Mayawati quoted JD(S) leader HD Kumaraswamy and said that the election in Karnataka would provide an opportunity for “take-off for the centre.”
In the Karnataka assembly election, BSP has fielded 18 candidates in alliance with the JD(S). In the 2013 assembly election, though BSP could not secure 1% of total vote share, the party is hopeful to win at least three seats in this election. A BSP leader claimed that the BSP-JD(S) will play the role of kingmaker, if not king in the post-poll scenario.
According to an analyst, BSP’s support base has increased sharply in the areas where SC/ST population dominates. Absence of any credible Dalit leader has created the space for Mayawati. Karnataka may pave the way for BSP’s entry in south, said the analyst.