Pragatisheel Samajwadi Party (Lohia) chief Shivpal Singh Yadav hailed the raids by the Central Bureau of Investigation teams on the premises of Samajwadi Party leaders in connection with the mining scam.
“The action is late. There was brazen loot in mining during the previous Bahujan Samaj Party and Samajwadi Party regimes,” Shivpal said at a press conference in Lucknow on Wednesday.
Incidentally, Shivpal Yadav was a powerful minister in the two previous Samajwadi Party governments, headed by his elder brother Mulayam Singh Yadav from August 2003 to March 2007 and in the Akhilesh Yadav government from March, 2012 to October, 2016, when he was dropped from the Cabinet by his nephew.
Shivpal’s comments came days after it surfaced that his nephew and former Chief Minister of UP, Akhilesh Yadav, might be questioned by the CBI in connection with the mining scam.
“During Bahujan Samaj Party regime from 2007-12 and Samajwadi Party regime from 2012-17, there was a ‘loot’ in mining due to which people had to face steep price rise of essential minerals like sand and coarse sand,” Shivpal said.
“The Bharatiya Janata Party has been late in taking CBI action against it. I was myself Mining Minister from 2004 to 2007, but there was no allegation against me,” the PSPL chief clarified.
Asked to comment on the Centre’s move to provide 10 per cent reservation to economically backward sections of general category, Shivpal termed it as “lollipop politics”.
“I was in its (reservation) support and it is good that the BJP initiated this. But, there are a number of promises made by the BJP which are yet to be fulfilled. I don’t trust the BJP. I doubt whether all these promises can be fulfilled. This (reservation) is the BJP’s lollipop. When the Supreme Court had once disallowed its implementation, how can reservation in this form be given?” he asked.
Shivpal, however, sought to claim credit for the 10 per cent reservation to economically weaker upper castes saying, “I would like to remind you that at our first rally, we raised the demand for reservation for economically weaker upper caste people. We are happy that the demand has been met.”
On his party’s alliance with the Congress, Shivpal said, “My party is ready for a tie-up with any party if given respectable number of seats.”
On meeting Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav again if the later initiated the move, Shivpal parried a direct reply and said, “Whatever disrespect I had to face, I have faced. But, for defeating the BJP, we are ready for alliance with any secular party.”
At the press conference, former minister and senior Samajwadi Party leader from Kanpur, Shiv Kumar Beria, joined Shivpal’s Yadav party and vowed to strengthen it.