Akhilesh: CBI Acting as BJP’s Cell

Responding to the CBI summons related to the mining case ahead of elections, Samajwadi Party leader Akhilesh Yadav criticised the agency, accusing it of functioning as a cell of the BJP.

Yadav took aim at the BJP, citing the Chandigarh mayoral election and alleging electoral malpractice, citing incidents of “theft” and “dacoity” of votes in the presence of ballot papers and CCTV cameras.

Speaking at the PDA conference alongside office-bearers of various party cells, including backward, minority, and Dalit, Yadav expressed his discontent with the timing of the summons, suggesting political motives behind them. He asserted that he has responded appropriately to the summons he received.

Yadav has agreed to appear through video conferencing for interrogation but has expressed his inability to be present in Delhi for questioning.

“He said that since elections are round the corner, he will not be able to make time for physical hearing but can appear through video conferencing. He has said that he was willing to cooperate in the investigation in the case,” said a member of his legal team.

Akhilesh has further questioned the gap of five years between the last time he was called by the CBI.

The CBI had summoned Akhilesh Yadav for questioning as a witness in connection with a case of illegal sand mining in the state’s Hamirpur district. The agency had asked Akhilesh Yadav to appear before it on Thursday.

The CBI is examining the roles of Akhilesh and former minister in his cabinet, Gayatri Prajapati, in the case of issuance of mining leases in alleged violation of e-tendering process.

In its FIR filed on January 2, 2019, on the orders of the Allahabad High Court, the CBI had stated, “The role of then mining ministers concerned during the relevant period may be looked into during the course of investigation of the case.”

Both Akhilesh Yadav and Gayatri Prajapati had the charge of the mining ministry between 2012 and 2016 when the alleged irregularities in mining of minor minerals took place.

The CBI had, on January 5, 2019, searched 14 locations across Delhi and Uttar Pradesh in connection with the case dealing with illegal mining in Hamirpur between 2012 and 2016.

The locations searched included residences of SP MLC Ramesh Kumar Mishra and BSP leader Sanjay Dixit apart from then Hamirpur District Magistrate, B Chandrakala, among others.

The premises searched were spread across Delhi, Hamirpur, Jalaun, Noida, Kanpur and Lucknow and were associated with the 11 accused mentioned in the CBI FIR.

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