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Maya’s bleak times vs Modi’s good times

Lucknow, May 30: Mayawati today chanted “bleak times lie ahead” to describe crime-stalked Uttar Pradesh, contrasting it with Narendra Modi’s “good times are ahead” slogan as she spied in the troubles a chance to recover from her election rout.

“UP ke liye bure din aane wale hain, kanoon-vyawastha charmara gayi hai (Uttar Pradesh is headed for bleak times as the law-and-order is on the verge of collapse),” the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief said as the Samajwadi government drew fire over spiralling crimes against women.

Most of the victims in the incidents — including two minor cousins gang-raped, killed and hanged from a tree — were Dalits. The section was among Mayawati’s core supporters but appears to have shifted loyalties to the BJP in the Lok Sabha elections in which the BSP drew a blank.

“It is jungle raj in Uttar Pradesh. I demand a CBI probe into the Badaun case as the state government does not seem serious in punishing the suspects,” the former chief minister said, referring to the cousins’ murders.

Two constables are among seven accused in the case, as is an influential resident of the victims’ village allegedly patronised by ruling Samajwadi leaders. The cops have been held along with two others but three of the suspects, including the politically connected resident, are still on the run.

“In view of the spurt of crimes after the polls… I urge the central government to seek a report from the governor and impose President’s rule here,” Mayawati said.

The Badaun atrocity has sparked a nationwide furore and prompted the Centre to seek a report from the Akhilesh Yadav government.

Responding to Mayawati’s remarks, Akhilesh did not deny crimes were taking place but claimed that his police had been quick “to take action”.

For Mayawati, crime-related issues represent a strong plank to restart her campaign against the Samajwadis, offering her the opportunity to claim she had a better record on this count when she was chief minister till March 2012.