4 cases & 2 meetings that may have forced Mulayam to ditch allies in Bihar
The Samajwadi Party's decision to walk out of the Nitish Kumar-led alliance in Bihar has come as a shot in the arm for the BJP. The saffron party's argument on the non-feasibility of the alliance stands vindicated.
Mulayam has always claimed to be a steadfast opponent of the BJP, so why did he weaken the cause of anti-BJP forces in Bihar?
The answer to this lies in Uttar Pradesh and not Bihar. Many say the SP was arm-twisted by the BJP into walking out of the Mahagathbandhan in Bihar. This is being attributed to a number of corruption cases in which the SP is in trouble.
The Supreme Court recently ordered a CBI inquiry against Yadav Singh, a UP government engineer who has allegedly amassed huge wealth.
The apex court was acting on a petition filed by social worker Nutan Thakur. The UP government fought tooth and nail to get Thakur's petitions quashed, even though it was directed at an individual.
Singh is alleged to have close links with the SP and many observers believe that this case is the main reason behind the party's about-turn in Bihar.
"The biggest problem Mulayam faces is that his property and assets are (allegedly) not proportionate to his income," says Vishwanath Chaturvedi, a Delhi-based lawyer who has filed several cases against the SP chief.
Chaturvedi states that the SP spread false rumours in 2013 that the CBI court was closing all the investigations against Mulayam. "The probe is still on. He can be arrested any day."
"Mulayam and his family members are accused in at least three dozen cases of corruption," he adds.
Chaturvedi has no doubt whatsoever that the BJP has used the CBI cases to arm-twist Mulayam.
"Maya, Mulayam uske saath, jiske paas CBI ka haath (Mayawati and Mulayam will support anyone who controls the CBI)," he quips.
It is alleged that when Mulayam was chief minister of Uttar Pradesh, food grains worth Rs 2 lakh crore meant for the public distribution system were smuggled to Bangladesh and Nepal. This was done in connivance with politicians, bureaucrats and ration shop owners.
"The CBI is still probing the case," says Chaturvedi.
Mulayam appointed Neera Yadav, who later rose to become UP chief secretary under Mulayam, was appointed by him as chief executive officer of Noida in 1995. She allegedly violated norms by allotting a plot to an industrialist.
She is also said to have procured two plots of land in the name of her daughter, again in violation of the rules. CBI began probing the case in 1995. She was convicted by the CBI court in 2012. The case is now being heard in a higher court.
As Yadav was given important positions by Mulayam during his chief ministership, the case against her is an embarrassment for the SP chief as well.
The timing of the SP's withdrawal is critical as it took place a little after it participated in the Mahagathbandhan's Swabhiman Rally. Here's the sequence of events
- 30 August - SP leader Shivpal Yadav took part in the massive Swabhiman Rally in Patna.
- 27 August - Mulayam and SP general secretary Ram Gopal Yadav met Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
- 31 August - Ram Gopal Yadav had a meeting with BJP president Amit Shah.
- 3 September - Ram Gopal Yadav declared that SP is no longer part of the Mahagathbandhan and that it will contest the elections independently.
The two meetings are said to have been critical in influencing the SP's decision.