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Mayavati cries foul

Aug. 8: Mayavati today scrambled to de-link herself from her family in the same breath as she denied raids on their hom- es, but Jaswant Singh confirmed that the narcotics bureau had swooped on the premises of “travel agents” in Delhi without naming them.

The Narcotics Control Bureau was reported to have yesterday searched the Delhi, Meerut and Noida residences of the Uttar Pradesh chief minister’s relatives, including a house in Inderpuri in south-west Delhi where her parents were living.

Coming down strongly on the reports, Mayavati said they were “incorrect” and had been planted by her “political adversaries” to “tarnish” her image. But she quickly added that she had nothing to do with any of her relatives and could not be held responsible for their actions.

“I have checked with all the relatives mentioned in the news reports and they have assured me that no raid has been conducted at their residences either by the Narcotics Control Bureau or the income-tax department or the CBI.

“However, if someone proves my family members’ involvement in any murky deal, I have nothing to do with it,” she said.

More than speaking up for her family, she appeared keen to dissociate herself from them. “I had decided not to have any link with my parents, brothers and sisters soon after joining politics and had submitted an affidavit in 1989 when I had first become an MP,” she said.

Mayavati said she had made it clear the Bahujan Samaj Party came first and her family next. “I have made it abundantly clear on many occasions that I have associated myself with the bahujan samaj, comprising downtrodden people, and have no link with my family.”

Despite her protestations, archrival Samajwadi Party did not lose the opportunity to cry for her scalp. While Uttar Pradesh general secretary Shiv Pal Singh Yadav said she should pay for “always protecting her family members”, MP Akhilesh Singh gave the matter a new twist in the Lok Sabha.

Reading out from a report in a Hindi daily, he alleged the Centre was trying to cover up the “tax raids” on Mayavati’s relatives and that the Prime Minister and his deputy were involved in the whole thing.

As temperatures in the House rose with BSP floor leader Rashid Alvi vehemently denying the raids, Jaswant intervened, saying there had been no tax raids either in Delhi or Noida.

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