Mathura mayhem fallout: BJP & BSP use land-grab issue to corner SP
A day after Bharatiya Janata Party went live with its email address firstname.lastname@example.org asking all those whose land had been grabbed to send their complaints on the above address, Bahujan Samaj Party president Mayawati also promised to act against land sharks if she is returned to power.
"If BSP forms a government in the state land grabbers will go to jail," Mayawati warned the SP leaders at a press conference in Lucknow on Thursday.
The manner in which some senior members of the ruling Samajwadi Party allegedly conspired in letting Ram Vriksh Yadav-led group of Baba Jai Gurudev's followers to encroach upon 288-acres of government's land in Mathura's Jawahar Bagh, land grabbing has suddenly become a big poll issue in this election-bound state.
The Jawahar Bagh eviction drive that ended in 29 fatalities further tarnished the ruling party's image. SP is now being accused of making UP a haven for the corrupt, criminals and land grabbers. With the BJP and the BSP grabbing the opportunity to corner SP on this issue, chief minister Akhilesh Yadav is desperately trying to ward off the attack. His development agenda seems to have lost its edge.
The BJP has promised to conduct agitations at all the places from where they receive complaints of land grabbing.
With the land grabbing issue becoming BJP's campaign theme, the spotlight is back on law and order and corruption in UP. The saffron party has accordingly coined the slogan "na apraadh, na bhrashtachaar, abkee baar Bhaajapaa sarkaar."
Although the Supreme Court has turned down the plea to order a CBI inquiry into the Jawahar Bagh case and the state government has ordered an inquiry, the BJP continues to point an accusing finger at Shivpal Yadav.
The judicial inquiry, it is alleged, is meant to save the big fish. The blame for allowing the squatters to run a parallel government in the occupied area, would fall on the district administration.
Surprisingly, the Congress has maintained a discreet silence over the issue. With the party banking on the Samajwadi Party to ensure the victory of Kapil Sibal for the Rajya Sabha seat, not making a controversial remark at this juncture is only natural.
"In view of the Rajya Sabha elections, tactically it would be imprudent on our part to comment on the Mathura issue. But Congress has always held that illegal occupation of government or private land is not possible without the support of the police, the district administration and politicians," said a spokesperson of the Congress.
Former spokesperson of the Congress party Ramesh Dixit dismisses land-grabbing as a non-issue. "Although Mayawati is talking of sending SP leaders to jail for land-grabbing, when her party was in power, its leaders were doing the same thing. Congress and BJP leaders who were landless before they began their political careers today own acres of land," Dixit said.
Mathura may have given an election issue to BJP leaders but when it comes to corruption and land they all flock together, Dixit said.
Meanwhile, Samajwadi Party's Muzaffarnagar district president has allegedly facilitated illegal occupation on a chunk of land belonging to Shahpur Nagar Panchayat.
Edited by Aditya Menon
Also read: What's the Mathura Mayhem all about