While Mulayam Singh Yadav and his son Akhilesh as well as Mayawati have faced cases of asset accumulation disproportionate to their known sources of income, they have buried the allegations they had made against one another in the past for one reason: Another term for Prime Minister Narendra Modi may strip them of their ill-gotten wealth and benefit those who are really downtrodden
Lord Krishna said, "Hell has three gates: lust, anger and greed." So, if in their greed, once archrivals Samajwadi Party (SP) and Bahujan Samajwadi Party (BSP) join hands in Uttar Pradesh not so much to win the 2019 general elections but to create an impregnable protective wall against any attempt to nail them down for their alleged acts of omissions and commissions spread over years of their misrules, damnation is certain.
It is certainly astonishing to see former chief minister Akhilesh Yadav and BSP chief Mayawati form a fidgety alliance to defeat Prime Minister Narendra Modi's BJP in the race for the Central power through the labyrinthine route of their mammoth state that sends 80 MPs to Lok Sabha.
Unfortunately, this axis is yet another malicious attempt to make sure that Modi doesn't re-enter the PMO to chastise them for their alleged acts of rampant corruption during their tenures as chief ministers. What is more worrisome is that this alliance will surely open the proverbial gates of hell for the masses of India.
Akhilesh, who calls Mayawati 'bua', is prepared to make any sacrifice to hold her hand to get a share of the PMO pie. He has agreed for a 38-38-seat pact in Uttar Pradesh that maintains his distance from Rahul Gandhi. This will leave just two seats for the Congress: Rae Bareli and Amethi. This implies a losing, embarrassing game for India’s oldest party.
Both 'bua' and 'bhatija' exude confidence to defeat Modi, forgetting in the process that the voters of Uttar Pradesh are not that predictable. They know that a BJP government under a clean Modi would be 10 times more useful than a combination of "known thieves".
The uninitiated may go to any builder in the NCR to catch a glimpse of the open plunder of harrowed home buyers ' hard-earned money that was going on under the SP and BSP regimes. Who does not know that three-time chief minister Mulayam Singh Yadav (Akhilesh’s father) and Mayawati, sworn enemies, alternately ruled Uttar Pradesh for years and brazenly misused their powers to build citadels of large assets for themselves and their families at the cost of tax-payers? The SP-BSP alliance is thus clearly an attempt to save their skins as they know that, if Modi returns for a second term, it will be difficult for them to save their ill-gotten wealth.
Modi stands entitled to closely scan the money power of every ravenous trader of the graft. Why? Because, even after being chief minister for 12 years and the Prime Minister for four years, he has no wealth of his own.
Wealth of Mulayam’s family
Mulayam Singh, along with his brother Shivpal Yadav, allegedly made a huge amount of wealth in the name of creating socialist infrastructure for the people of Uttar Pradesh. Moreover, when Mulayam felt politically tired, he managed to install his son Akhilesh Yadav, a political neophyte, as the chief minister of the state. Akhilesh, who held the state's command just for one term, seems to have filled his pockets, too. Currently, he is being probed for stashing illegal money through various scams.
It is alleged that Mulayam Singh acquired wealth worth Rs 100 crore during his three terms as the chief minister. However, in spite of fair stocktaking of the known sources of his family's income was always done, he was never probed thoroughly for any illegal acquisition. Mulayam, in his reply filed in the Supreme Court in 2007, accepted that his family members own some 18 properties worth Rs 100 crore at various places. The court asked the CBI to undertake a preliminary investigation into these assets and a PIL followed, which alleged that the former chief minister amassed huge wealth during his tenure. However, the fates of such criminal probes under UPA dispensation were never known to the public.
Politicians are known to accumulate tonnes of wealth, whenever or wherever they get opportunities. The rulers of every political outfit unexceptionally indulge in open loot which our weak, apathetic, non-punitive democratic system is not able to control effectively. That is because the system itself is corrupted and consists of non-combative, easy-going and lethargic people at the helm. However, here the focus is on how these sworn enemies, turned friends managed to escape the long arm of the law. Who will contest the fact that everyone in the families of Mulayam and Mayawati is not only rich but also have investments in enterprises and own big nami and benami properties?
Wealth of Mayawati’s family
Samajwadi leaders themselves alleged in the Uttar Pradesh assembly repeatedly in 2009 that Mayawati, the then chief minister, had amassed wealth worth Rs 90,000 crore. On the contrary, claiming to be focusing on bringing about social changes for Bahujans, more commonly known as Scheduled Castes, Mayawati accused Mulayam of rampant corruption. She accused him of even conspiring to murder her.
Income tax officials revealed in 2017 that Mayawati’s brother Anand Kumar had begun his career as a businessman with approximately Rs 7 crore in cash. However, in a few years, his assets skyrocketed to Rs 1,300 crore. So, how did Anand make this whopping amount? He floated various companies, in league with some influential politicians close to Mayawati. He sold equity shares at high premiums to various holding companies that were registered at dubious addresses with their promoters remaining untraceable. Lists of dozens of dubious firms of Mayawati's brother and sister-in-law Vichitralata were published by opposition leaders. BJP leaders detailed "100 scams" during her rule and asked her to provide details of the loot worth Rs 2,54,000 crore.
However, Mayawati never provided any detail of her and her family’s wealth. Why this 'poor politician' facade? Mayawati is actually the richest Dalit politician in the country. Her wealth almost doubled during the time when she was the chief minister. The woman who did not have a house to live in 2004 is the owner of several properties today. In her ancestral village, Badalpur, she has a huge luxurious bungalow with most modern amenities, but no one stays there. In Rajya Sabha nomination papers, Mayawati herself gave details of her property: In 2007, her total wealth was Rs 52 crore which rose to 111 crores in 2012.
The loot doesn’t end here. According to reports, by 2012 she had Rs 13 crore 73 lakh in her account, Out of which Rs 10, 20,000 was in the form of cash and the rest in the form of jewellery (34 grams gold, 380 carats diamonds, the value of which stood at Rs 95 lakh). She had 18.5 kg silverware, 15 lakh artefacts and a revolver worth Rs 5,500, too. In 2004, she had ornaments worth Rs 30 lakh, but now she has ornaments worth Rs one crore.
Mayawati owns two commercial properties at Connaught Place in Delhi worth over Rs 20 crore. She also has a residential building worth Rs 62 crore in Delhi and one in Lucknow worth Rs 19 crore. The other luxurious bungalows that she has in Delhi and Lucknow are worth 96 crores. One of her bungalows, which spreads over five acres of land in the posh area of Lucknow, has an estimated value of Rs 100 crore, which allegedly is all public money. Was the money spent on this bungalow ever questioned? "Not at all, " says a senior politician. In her bungalow, crores have been spent on amenities, such as CCTV, meeting hall, dozens of rooms, lockers, bullet-proof windows and 20- feet statues – one of Mayawati and the other of her mentor late Kanshiram and rest marble statues of elephants.
Rich 'Dalits' do not care for real Dalits
It is baffling to note how our democratic system allows a politician to amass wealth of this scale. No one clearly knows from where all this money comes. Doesn't Mayawati think of the country's millions of poor Dalits while splurging so much money on luxuries? All this wealth could have been used for the upliftment of the downtrodden. Mayawati may consider herself as a messiah of the Dalits but, in fact, she carries the stigma of shame in the name of Dalits. There are a million Dalits in the country who do not get to eat two meals, but these billionaire Dalits do not care. They just play their Dalit card during elections, manage to rise to power, amass wealth and continue to fool people.
Even the Congress 's Dalit leader Mallikarjun Kharge, who has been a minister in the past, acquired assets worth Rs 50,000 crore. The Dalits of the country, fortunately, are now gradually realising that their leaders like Mayawati and Kharge are using them for their political gains. That is why in some previous elections, they have rejected these self-serving politicians and preferred to vote their rivals who promised all-round development. Hopefully, this year, large sections of Dalit voters in Uttar Pradesh will extend their support to the BJP, which have toiled hard to bring betterment in the life of the poor through various schemes. In the general elections at least, which chooses a central authority to govern the country, it looks inconceivable that the Dalits will vote to install a regime of strife, despair and loot!
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Last Updated Jan 15, 2019, 7:57 PM IST