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Post CBI Raids, Akhilesh Says BJP Has Shown Its True Colours; UP Min Says Elections Don't Dictate Probe

File photo of Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav.

File photo of Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav.

The former UP chief minister said earlier, the Congress used the CBI and now the BJP was repeating the same practice.

New Delhi: Former Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav on Sunday hit out at the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for “showing its true colours”, a day after reports that he may face a probe by the CBI in an illegal mining case in the state.

“The Samajwadi Party wants to win the maximum number of Lok Sabha seats. The people who want to stop us have the CBI with them. But the people of India are ready to give an answer to the BJP,” Yadav said in an interaction with the media after a party event.

He said he was happy that the BJP has “shown its true colours”, adding that the saffron party should know that whatever they do, they will have to face the consequences of the same later. He said, "Earlier the Congress would send the CBI and now the BJP has done the same."

Reacting to the allegations, UP minister Sidharth Nath Singh said, "Akhilesh ji, you cannot loot, and beat your chest over it. You've looted the people and law is taking its course. In 2016, Allahabad HC took cognizance of the matter and gave it to the CBI. The CBI does not work keeping in mind timing of elections or 'gathbandhans'."

The CBI carried out searches at 14 locations on Saturday in connection with its FIR against 11 persons including IAS officer B Chandrakala, Samajwadi Party MLC Ramesh Kumar Mishra and Sanjay Dixit (who unsuccessfully contested the 2017 assembly election on a BSP ticket) to probe alleged illegal mining of minor minerals in Hamirpur district during 2012-16. Minor minerals are sand, gravel, among others.

"The role of the then mining ministers concerned during the relevant period may be looked into during the course of investigation of the case," the FIR said.

Akhilesh Yadav, who was the chief minister of the state between 2012 and 2017, held the mining portfolio during 2012-13 apparently bringing his role under scanner, according to the FIR. He was succeeded by Gayatri Prajapati, who took charge as mining minister in 2013 and was arrested in 2017 following a complaint of rape by a woman residing in Chitrakoot.

This is the third FIR pertaining to illegal mining cases which were registered by the agency on January 2, 2019, nearly two-and-a-half year after it was directed by the Allahabad High Court to probe the issue.

The CBI was directed by the High Court on July 28, 2016 to probe illegal mining in the state following which it had registered seven preliminary enquiries out of which two pertaining to Shamli and Kaushambi districts were converted into FIRs in 2017.

The searches of the agency took place on a day the Samajwadi Party and the Mayawati-led Bahujan Samaj Party gave contours of an electoral alliance ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. The coming together of the two arch rivals may spell trouble for the ruling BJP which had a home run in 2014 elections when it won 71 out of total 80 Lok Sabha seats in the state.

SP spokesperson Abdul Hafiz Gandhi said the timings of the raids raises questions about the intentions of the government. "The party welcomes the CBI action but the timings do raise questions. Especially since this is coming right after stories of SP-BSP alliance in the media," he told News18.

first published:January 06, 2019, 14:15 IST