The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Shield in hand, Mayavati hits out

Lucknow, Oct. 22: Hours after Allahabad High Court stayed her arrest in the Taj corridor scam, a fiery Mayavati today vowed to wipe out the BJP in the Assembly elections.

“I have worked out a strategy to ensure the BJP’s rout in these elections but will disclose it only after the BJP has declared its candidates,” the former Uttar Pradesh chief minister told journalists.

The Lucknow bench stayed her arrest in two criminal cases — the Taj scam and disproportionate assets case — registered by the CBI following the Supreme Court order to probe the controversial project.

Similar orders were passed on petitions moved by former principal secretary P.L. Punia and former state environment secretary V.K. Gupta.

The court also directed the petitioners to co-operate in the investigations and not leave the country without written permission from the court. Both cases have been registered in the CBI court in Lucknow.

After the reprieve, Mayavati told thousands of Bahujan Samaj Party activists gathered for a solidarity rally that “the time to take revenge has come”.

Though Mayavati did not name the Congress, observers said her statement hinted at a possible working arrangement between the BSP and the Congress in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Delhi and Chhattisgarh where elections are due in December.

“The BJP had major stakes in all these states and the BSP is in a position to play the role of a spoiler there,” a senior BJP leader conceded.

Mayavati rued that her move to get her arrest stayed had been projected as an act of cowardice by the “manuvadi media”.

“I knew the CBI was under pressure to arrest and prevent me from campaigning in the elections,” she said, adding that she had only exercised her constitutional right.

She told BSP workers not to be demoralised by the BJP’s tactics.

“After ensuring the BJP’s defeat in the next round of elections, we will again be in a position to call the shots in national politics.”

Mayavati voiced confidence that the court would also order quashing of the two FIRs against her.

She reiterated that the CBI’s decision to probe her assets was outside its purview and the agency had taken it up at the instance of the Centre.

“This is the job of the income-tax department but the CBI is probing my assets on its own. Each detail of the proper- ties owned by me has already been given to the IT department.”

Mayavati said she did not own a single farmhouse or a hotel. “If the CBI has some information, why does it not present the evidence in court'”

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