The Samajwadi Party (SP) leader Ram Gopal Yadav on Monday came out all guns blazing at the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and said the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is being misused by the Centre.
The BJP on Sunday demanded that the CBI investigate former Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav for his alleged involvement in a mining scam, claiming that his government was "hand in glove" with the accused in the case.
“SP-BSP alliance has shaken the BJP,” said Yadav in a joint conference with the BSP.
BJP is misusing the agency and it will cost the saffron party dearly, he added.
BSP leader Satish Mishra also attacked the government and said that the motive is to divert attention from the real issues.
"Raids are the sign of BJP's desperateness," said Mishra.
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.
Amid reports that the CBI may quiz him, the Samajwadi Party chief said he is ready to face the probe agency and targeted the BJP, saying it is leaving a "culture", which may be used against it in the future.
"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 told reporters in Lucknow.
The CBI had 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.
Singh alleged that Yadav's tenure as chief minister between 2012-17 was a story of loot of minerals and that he presided over a government hand in glove with the mining syndicate.
He also fired off many questions to Yadav, asking him why Chandrakala "violated" e-tender norms and why she was made the district magistrate of Hamirpur.
"The BJP demand that the CBI should investigate Akhilesh Yadav," Singh said, adding that he should be called by the agency for probe.
(With inputs from PTI)