Lucknow/ New Delhi: Former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, who is preparing to give a tough fight to the BJP in the crucial state polls, has hit out at the ruling party after top leaders of the Samajwadi Party and his personal aide were raided this morning.
“I have said this time and again that as elections approach.. all this starts happening. Abhi to Income Tax department aaya hai, Enforcement Directorate aayega, CBI aayega ( Right now, now the tax department has come… the Enforcement Directorate will come, CBI will come) but the cycle (the Samajwadi Party’s poll symbol) will not stop… its pace will not stop … the BJP will be wiped out of UP. People of the state won’t be fooled. Why was Rajeev Rai not raided a month ago, why now? Because elections are near?”
“The BJP is on the path of the Congress. Earlier when the Congress wanted to scare anyone, they used such tactics and the BJP is following in the footsteps of the Congress,” the 48-year-old leader said questioning – “Why are these raids being conducted right before polls. The tax department seems to have joined the poll battle.”
This morning, Samajwadi Party leader and spokesperson Rajeev Rai, Akhilesh Yadav’s personal secretary Jainendra Yadav, and another party leader Manoj Yadav were raided.
A team from the Income Tax department from Varanasi reached Mr Rai’s home this morning in eastern UP’s Mau district. Mr Rai owns a group that runs many educational institutions in Karnataka.
“I’ve no criminal background or black money. I help people and the government didn’t like it. This is a result of that. If you do anything, they’ll make a video, register an FIR, you’ll fight a case unnecessarily,” he said while talking to reporters at the gates of his residence earlier today. In 2014, Mr Rai was the Lok Sabha candidate from the Ghosi constituency.
“Rajeev Rai is the National Secretary and spokesperson of Samajwadi Party. He is credited with being the man behind the success of forming the 1st Samajwadi Party government in UP in 2012 and is the media face of the party,” his official website reads.
The promoter of RCL Group of companies, Manoj Yadav, another aide of Akhilesh Yadav, was raided in Mainpuri – a stronghold of the Yadav family.
Hours after the raids began, Akhilesh Yadav shared a tweet with a photo, “As the BJP’s fear of loss increases, the opponents are likely to face raids. Despite that, the Samajwadi Party’s ‘Rath’ (chariot) will continue to move.”
“Even the public now stands unitedly against the BJP. Will the BJP raid 22 crores people in the state?” he asked in Hindi.
Today’s raids come just ahead of the crucial assembly elections as the state sees Mr Yadav hitting out at the BJP over the projects that have been recently launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in UP.
While he claims all of these projects were started during his tenure, the BJP has said it’s just an attempt to take credit with an eye on polls.
Some analysts say Akhilesh Yadav has emerged as a key challenger to the BJP in the UP elections.