Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) supremo Mayawati on Saturday accused the PM Modi-led centre of misusing the CBI during elections, saying the case pertaining to the sale of 21 state-owned sugar mills during her tenure as Uttar Pradesh chief minister was being given a political colour.
During a press conference, Mayawati said, "In this election, the BJP is misusing government institutions including the CBI, which has never happened earlier. The case pertaining to the sugar mills is being given a political colour, and this is an example of gross misuse of the CBI."
"The department concerned sold the sugar mills. If there is any shortcoming, then it can be probed. But, the timing is wrong, and the action carried out during the election is misguiding people. The public must remain alert about this conspiracy," she added.
"It seems that the Centre is doing all this out of frustration, owing to the success of 'mahagathbandhan' in the election. The CBI has once again been used as a parrot. In the audit objections pertaining to sale of sugar mills or in the report of the Lokayukta, there are no adverse comments against the chief minister," the BSP supremo said.
"This makes it clear that the Centre is hatching a conspiracy with the help of the CBI," she alleged. About the ongoing Lok Sabha elections, the BSP chief said, "Going by the voting trends, no one can stop the SP-BSP-RLD alliance from winning. The BJP is resorting to new tricks, especially in Uttar Pradesh, but the truth is that they have failed."
It is to be noted that Mayawati’s remarks came after the CBI registered an FIR and six preliminary enquiries to probe alleged irregularities in the sale of the 21 sugar mills.
The Yogi Adityanath-led BJP government in the state had registered a case at the Gomti Nagar police station in 2017 before transferring it to the CBI in April the following year. At least seven people were named in the FIR filed by CBI on Thursday.
According to the CBI officials, the sale of the sugar mills in 2011-12 led to a loss of Rs 1,179 crore to the state exchequer. “The agency has not named as accused any official of the Uttar Pradesh government or any politician of the state,” the officials added.
Indulging in more details, the officials said that seven private persons, who had allegedly submitted forged documents during the purchase of the UP State Sugar Corporation Ltd mills, have been booked by the agency.
“The state government had sought a CBI investigation into the sale of the 21 sugar mills, and forgery and cheating in the purchase of seven closed mills in Deoria, Bareilly, Laxmi Ganj, Hardoi, Ramkola, Chittauni and Barabanki,” the officials noted.
It is alleged that the Mayawati-led government had sold the 21 mills, including 10 operational ones, below market price. However, this led to a loss of Rs 1,179 crore.