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Mayavati plays ill-Kanshi card

New Delhi, Oct. 7: A day after the CBI filed a first information report against Mayavati and seven others, the Bahujan Samaj Party chief accused the Prime Minister of “misusing” the bureau to “fix” her when her party founder was critically ill.

Mayavati fears that any move to arrest her in the Rs 175-crore Taj heritage corridor case and raid her house and demoralise party cadre may shock Kanshi Ram, thus risking his life.

Asked what she would do if the CBI arrested her, she said it depended on Kanshi Ram’s health and she would have to consult his doctors first.

Mayavati said she would hold Atal Bihari Vajpayee responsible if anything happened to Kanshi Ram, lodged in a private hospital here since September 15. Kanshi Ram’s doctors have told her there are chances of brain haemorrhage, she added.

“I warn the Prime Minister through the media that if something happens to Kanshi Ram’s “dimag (brain), the Prime Minister will be responsible for it. The Bahujan samaj will not forgive him,” she said.

“I have information that the CBI is acting under directives from the Prime Minister. I have come to know from reliable sources that under the Prime Minister’s directive, some 400-500 officers are working overtime to raid my house and those of my parents, brothers, sisters and close friends. I want to tell the Prime Minister and the BJP brass that I am not going to be intimidated,” the BSP chief said.

She accused Vajpayee of “misusing” the bureau for political purposes in a bid to press the BSP to bail out its former Uttar Pradesh ally, the BJP, in the Assembly polls.

The timing of the FIR — “immediately” after the Election Commission announced poll dates for the five states — proved beyond doubt that Vajpayee was playing “dirty politics”, Mayavati said.

Amid remarks that might unwittingly embarrass the deputy Prime Minister, Mayavati parried questions if she still thought the L.K. Advani camp in the BJP was soft on her. She only said “I have told you what I wanted to on September 4”.

The former Uttar Pradesh chief minister had praised Advani last month and still maintains cordial relations with him. She attended his son’s wedding last week and Advani had earlier called on Kanshi Ram in hospital.

Mayavati said she would “teach a lesson” to the BJP in Rajasthan, Delhi, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh. The BJP will bite the dust not only in these states but also in the Lok Sabha elections in 2004, she added. “I will ensure that they never return to the Centre.”

Though she did not commit to any electoral alliance with the Congress, she did not rule out a tie-up with the party. “We are ready to take any step to defeat the BJP,” she said.

Mayavati refused to divulge her electoral strategy but said she would give a “befitting reply” to the BJP in response to yesterday’s FIR.

She dismissed the BJP rationale that it would benefit if the BSP fought the Assembly polls independently. “We will not allow this thing to happen,” Mayavati said.

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