Akhilesh Yadav on Sunday turned witty while responding to reports that the CBI may question the Samajwadi Party president in an illegal mining case, saying he was happy that the “BJP has shown its colours” and he has to tell the investigating agency as to how many seats his party has distributed in the “gathbandhan”. Talking to reporters in Lucknow, he said the BJP is leaving a "culture", which may be used against it in the future. Yadav also said he was ready to face the probe agency, but people are also ready to answer the BJP.
“Now, we have to tell the CBI as to how many seats we have distributed in the gathbandhan. I am happy that at least the BJP has shown its colours,” he said.
The SP chief targeted the BJP as well as the Congress over the reports on the CBI raids.
“The Samajwadi Party is making efforts to win maximum Lok Sabha seats. Those who want to stop us, have the CBI with them. Once the Congress did CBI probe, and I was questioned. If the BJP is doing all this, the CBI will question me, I will answer (them). But, the people are ready to give an answer to the BJP," Yadav said.
"Why is the CBI conducting raids? Whatever they want to ask, they can ask me. However, the BJP should remember that the culture it is leaving behind, it may have to face it in the future," he added.
Yadav may face a probe by the CBI in the illegal mining case in the state, according to the agency FIR made public on Saturday, the day arch rivals SP and BSP indicated their intent to join hands to counter the ruling BJP in 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
The CBI carried out searches at 14 locations on Saturday in connection with its FIR against 11 people, 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 like sand, gravels etc.
Chandrakala, who is on study leave now a days, is one the most talked about officers on social media because of her purported anti-corruption drive videos on various platforms.
Her social media videos lashing out at government officials earned her a title of 'Lady Dabang' (daring).
"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.
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 was a 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 SP chief also accused the BJP of ending 'political etiquette'. "The BJP wants that other political parties should behave in the same manner as it behaves. But, we will not change our political etiquette," he said.
(With PTI inputs)