Hours after Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati had accused the Narendra Modi-led central government of targetting her because she is a Dalit, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) hit back at her, saying Mayawati cannot hide corruption in the garb of caste politics.
A day after the Enforcement Directorate (ED) detected cash deposits worth over Rs 104 crore in an account belonging to the BSP, Mayawati accused the BJP of misusing official machinery to tarnish her party's image. "All deposits are as per norms and party rules and the money was collected before note ban. Should we have thrown it?" she asked.
Terming the issue as an effort to tarnish BSP's image ahead of the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections, Mayawati said the "anti-Dalit" BJP managed to sway a section of the media.
Union minister of law and justice Ravi Shankar Prasad reacted to these allegations and pointed out how Mayawati's response didn't address the issue of money being deposited in her account. "She (Mayawati) did not deny the fact that the deposits were made. The main question is whether these were donations made to the political party or a case of money conversion," he said. He further added that a proper probe will set things straight.
"BJP and other parties have also deposited their money in banks. Nobody is talking about that," Mayawati had said on Tuesday.
But Prasad responded by saying the BSP supremo was just reacting to media reports.
The ED on Monday had detected cash deposits totalling over Rs 104 crore in an account belonging to the BSP, and Rs 1.43 crore in an account belonging to Mayawati's brother Anand in a branch of United Bank of India in Delhi during a routine survey and enquiry operations to check suspicious cash deposits in banks post-demonetisation.
In response to Mayawati's allegation that the BJP was anti-Dalit, Prasad said it was unfortunate that demonetisation is being termed as anti-Dalit, and added that "Mayawati cannot hide corruption in the garb of Dalit cause".
Mayawati cannot hide corruption in the garb of Dalit cause: Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad pic.twitter.com/g279LljSq7
— ANI (@ANI_news) December 27, 2016
Former chief minister Mayawati had also claimed that the BJP, Congress and Samajwadi Party had a tacit understanding for the upcoming Assembly polls in Uttar Pradesh. "The SP and Congress have been attempting to forge an alliance but that will materialise only when the BJP gives the green signal for it. And BJP will give the green signal only when it is sure that such an alliance will actually benefit them," Mayawati had said.
Prasad dismissed these claims, and said the people of Uttar Pradesh are ready for a change and are with the saffron party.
With inputs from agencies
Updated Date: Dec 27, 2016 15:47:27 IST