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Mayavati targets Atal family

New Delhi, Oct. 8: A fuming Mayavati today demanded an “independent inquiry” into the assets of Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s foster daughter and son-in-law after the CBI raided premises owned by her in connection with the Taj corridor project.

At a hurriedly called news conference, the former Uttar Pradesh chief minister blamed Vajpayee for the raids and accused him of being “manuwadi”, “Dalit virodhi” and a “kattar Brahmin”.

Mayavati said the CBI was “acting at the behest of the Prime Minister” and demanded that Vajpayee order an “independent inquiry” against his foster daughter and son-in-law who, she said, had “huge” properties at several prominent places, including Nainital. She also alleged that the land for these properties had been bought at “dirt cheap prices”.

Mayavati said the CBI officials “even searched the dustbin in my office and took out the waste papers thrown inside” to see whether anything incriminating was there. “I have paid whatever I was required to...,” she said, asked about a CBI charge that she had paid Rs 1 crore as income tax on her property of Rs 7.5 crore. “(The) CBI has found nothing and they do not have any case against me until or unless the agency tags on (Vajpayee’s son-in-law) Ranjan Bhattacharya’s property with mine.”

The angry torrent of words came soon after the CBI raided two houses of the BSP leader in Delhi and Lucknow and 19 other places. Mayavati said the CBI was being used to tarnish her image as she had refused to toe the BJP’s line and warned that Vajpayee and his party would regret their decision.

The former chief minister said Vajpayee will be “cursed by the Dalits”. The BJP has dug its own grave, she added, asserting that she would see to it that the Prime Minister does not form the next government. “This is his last term,” she said.

Mayavati said the CBI did not find anything incriminating. All that it seized, she said, was Rs 5.5 lakh “collected by poor party workers for the treatment of (party leader) Kanshi Ram”, who is in hospital after a stroke.

She added that despite her pleas not to touch that money, the investigators took it away saying they had orders from above.

 Even as Mayavati lashed out at Vajpayee, Union law minister Arun Jaitley said the Centre had nothing to do with the CBI raids.

“The raids by the investigating agency has been carried out at the directive of the Supreme Court and the agency would give its report to the apex court. The government has nothing to do with it,” he told reporters here at a “pardafash (expose) rally” organised by BJP leader Madan Lal Khurana.

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