Kanpur /Hardoi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday took a veiled dig at the Samajwadi Party(SP) over the large cash seizure from a Kanpur-based perfume trader, saying the ‘Ittar'(perfume) of corruption that it had sprinkled all over Uttar Pradesh before 2017 is there for everyone to see.
As the cash seizure triggered a fresh political war of words ahead of the Assembly polls in the state, Home Minister Amit Shah also used this issue to allege that the SP’s lexicon starts with ‘Apraadh’ (crime), ‘Bhaai-Bhatijavaad’ (nepotism) and ‘Corruption’. Modi also mockingly said this was the “achievement and reality” of the opposition party.
In multiple raids by the Income Tax department and the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs recently, around Rs 257 crore in cash, 25 kg of gold and 250 kg of silver were seized from Piyush Jain’s house in Kanpur as well as from his house and factory in Kannauj, according to an official. A Kanpur court on Monday remanded Piyush Jain to 14-day judicial custody.
SP president Akhilesh Yadav categorically denied any links between his party and Jain and mockingly said the ruling BJP got “its own businessman” raided “by mistake”.
Modi also accused the political parties that ruled UP in the past of spreading crime, which ruined all the businesses in the most populous state of the country.
“Boxes filled with notes have stumbled out. I was thinking they will say that this was also done by us. The people of Kanpur understand business and trade well. Before 2017, the perfume of corruption that they had sprinkled all over Uttar Pradesh is there for everyone to see,” Modi said without taking any name. The SP was in power from 2012 to 2017.
Modi was addressing a rally in Kanpur after inaugurating a metro rail project and the 356-km long Bina-Panki multi-product pipeline project.
“But now, they are sitting with their mouths shut. They are not coming forward to take credit for the mountain of currency notes seen by the entire country. This is their achievement and their reality.
“The people of Uttar Pradesh are seeing and understanding everything and hence, they are with those who are working to take the state forward,” he added.
BJP leaders have been attacking the SP over Piyush Jain’s arrest, claiming that the perfume trader had links with Yadav’s party. The SP, however, has been denying any link with Piyush Jain.
“By mistake, the BJP got its own businessman raided. Instead of SP leader Pushpraj Jain, it got Piyush Jain raided,” Yadav told reporters before the start of the “Samajwadi Rath Yatra” in Unnao.
Addressing a rally at Hardoi, Shah took a swipe at the SP over the Kanpur raids. ”The A, B, C, D of Samajwadi Party is itself all wrong where ‘A’ is for ‘Apraadh aur Aatank’ (crime and terrorism), ‘B’ is for ‘Bhaai-Bhatijaavaad’ (nepotism), ‘C’ for ‘Corruption’ aur ‘D’ means ‘Danga’ (riots).
“The Bharatiya Janata Party has wiped out this A, B, C, D,” the former BJP president said at the Jan Vishvas Yatra.
This prompted a sharp reaction from Akhilesh Yadav, who coined a similar Hindi acronym and claimed BJP supporters are now saying that it is time to leave the saffron party.
“Due to incidents in Hathras, Lakhimpur (Kheri), Gorakhpur, Agra, even the BJP supporters are standing against it, and are saying ABCD, which means ‘Ab BJP Chor Do’ (now leave the BJP),” the former chief minister said.
Hardoi has been a stronghold of the SP and the family of Naresh Chandra Agarwal, who joined the BJP in 2018.
“A few days ago, there were income tax raids. Why was (SP chief) Akhilesh having an upset stomach over raids, and he said that the raids were done with political malice,” Shah said.
“Can anyone tell me whose Rs 250 crore were found at the place of the person making Samajwadi Attar? Today, they (SP) are unable to give an answer,” Shah said.
While seeking to link Jain with the SP, BJP leaders have claimed he had launched the ‘Samajwadi Attar (perfume)’ with Yadav’s support recently. But Yadav claimed that ‘Samajwadi Attar’ was launched by SP MLC Pushpraj Jain.
He also wondered that “when all the resources are with the BJP today, who else can have such a huge amount of cash” and claimed that the CDR (call detail record) of the businessman’s phone would reveal the names of several leaders of the saffron party, “who were in touch with him”.
The details of cash withdrawal from banks would bring out the truth, the SP president said.
Taking a swipe at the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), he said, “Due to the mistake of Digital India, it got its own businessman raided.”
Stressing the importance of sound law and order, Modi said in his speech at the Kanpur rally that for the development of any state or improving its investment and industry scenario, the rule of law is the most important aspect.
“The previous government had spread the tree of mafiawad so much that all industry and businesses got ruined. Now, the Yogi Adityanath government has brought the rule of law back and so investment is increasing and criminals are going back to jails,” he said.
The “double-engine” government of the BJP is encouraging an industrial culture in Uttar Pradesh, the prime minister said, citing the projects already sanctioned for Kanpur as well as other schemes that will benefit the locals.
“Political parties with a policy of corruption and honouring bahubalis cannot develop Uttar Pradesh. Therefore, they have a problem with every move that strengthens the society. They also oppose moves that are aimed at empowering women, whether stern laws against triple talaq or bringing the age of marriage for women at par with men,” he said in an apparent dig at the SP.
Modi also said the opposition parties claim credit for the projects conceived and implemented by the current government. Citing various projects like the Kanpur Metro and the Purvanchal Expressway, he claimed that the BJP government laid the foundation stones as well as inaugurated those.
Yadav has often attacked the Adityanath government for allegedly claiming credit for projects conceived by the SP government.