Amid media reports that the CBI is likely to quiz Akhilesh Yadav in the illegal mining case, the Samajwadi Party chief Sunday said he is ready to face the probe agency, but people are also ready to answer the BJP.
Talking to reporters in Lucknow, he said the BJP is leaving a "culture", which may be used against it in the future.
Lok Sabha elections 2019 | In UP, there will be confluence of people, thoughts: Akhilesh Yadav on alliance
"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 said.
The former Uttar Pradesh chief minister may face a probe by the CBI, according to the agency FIR made public Saturday, the day arch rivals SP and BSP indicated their intent to join hands to counter the BJP in 2019 Lok Sabha polls.
Taking a swipe, Yadav said, "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. Earlier, the Congress gave us the chance to meet the CBI, and this time it is the BJP, which has given us this opportunity."
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.
The CBI carried out searches at 14 locations 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.
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 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.
Earlier in the day, CBI had demanded that the CBI investigate Yadav for his alleged involvement in a mining scam, claiming that his government was "hand in glove" with the accused in the case.
Rejecting the charge that the CBI's searches Saturday in connection with the alleged scam was politically motivated because of the alliance talks between the Samajwadi Party and the BSP, UP government minister Sidharth Nath Singh also told reporters that the BJP has no threat from them.
The two opposition parties are fighting for survival, he said, adding that those who are"langde-lulhe" (physically handicapped) need "baisakhi "crutches.
Addressing a press conference, Singh said instead of questioning the time of the raids, Yadav should answer why so much "loot" had happened under his government.
"If you loot public money, then law will take its own course," he said, adding that the CBI is reporting to the Allahabad high court, which had ordered a probe in 2016.