Lucknow, April 8: In the land of Ayodhya, Mulayam Singh Yadav’s Samajwadi Party has suddenly discovered an affinity for things normally identified with the BJP.
The cause is chief minister Mayavati. A Samajwadi delegation today handed over to Governor Vishnu Kant Shastri a compact disc of her videotaped speech allegedly denigrating Hindu deities and inciting a civil war. The party demanded her arrest under the anti-terror law.
Samajwadi’s Mohammed Azam Khan, who is the leader of Opposition in the Assembly, asked the Centre to immediately dismiss the Mayavati government and arrest her under the anti-terror law for “inciting religious hatred”.
The disc follows the videotape that the Samajwadi released last month, showing Mayavati allegedly demanding donations from constituency development funds of Bahujan Samaj Party MPs and MLAs for party work.
The latest videotape — showing Mayavati allegedly urging her party leaders to stop worshipping gods and donate money for her birthday celebrations — has been released about a week before her April 14 pardafaash rally to “expose” Mulayam.
The rally was called to rebut the charges over the earlier “doctored” tape and “expose” Mulayam’s alleged misuse of the chief minister’s discretionary fund when he was in power.
As before, Mayavati today denied the latest charge and said in an official statement: “The Samajwadi Party now has not remained as a party but has become a political quagmire. They are showing doctored CDs to denigrate my image, but nothing is going to affect my popularity.”
Khan accused Mayavati of “sacrilege” but refused, at first, to divulge the date and venue of her alleged latest speech. When pressed by reporters, he said the recording was done during her current tenure as chief minister.
The 20-minute CD shows Mayavati allegedly saying: “Manuwadis were misleading poor Dalits…You had kept fast...taken bath on religious occasions and had been told that there are over 25,000 gods. Have you seen them (gods)' Do not believe Manuwadis. Work hard.”
While the Samajwadi has donned the role of the defender of the faith, Mayavati’s ally, the BJP, has seen nothing wrong in her alleged remarks on Hindu deities, including Ram.
“The tape is a matter of shame for the BJP that claims to be the supporter of Ram. Mayavati’s true face has come out in the open. The very political philosophy of the BJP has been hit by Mayavati’s remarks,” said Samajwadi general-secretary Amar Singh.
BJP national general-secretary Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, however, said even if Mayavati’s alleged remarks were proved true, his party would not review its ruling coalition with the BSP in the state. “Politics is not operated through CDs,” he said.