What forced Mulayam to quit alliance? Is the CBI probe into the Noida engineer scam dictating his moves?
Vivek Avasthi | October 10, 2015
Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav questioned the “secular credentials” of Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar and walked out of his ‘Mahagathbandhan’. Mulayam said that Nitish was a former ally of the BJP and thus the Samajwadi Party could not be a part of the proposed ‘grand alliance’. This was surprising. Talks of an alliance of JD(U), RJD, Congress and SP had started months back, and Lalu Prasad Yadav had time and again praised his “samdhi” Mulayam for playing a pivotal role in formation of this tie-up. Did it take Mulayam weeks and months to realise that Nitish Kumar had earlier formed government in Bihar with the BJP? Or, were there other compulsions for leaving the grand alliance?
READ: The rise and fall of Yadav Singh
Was Mulayam irked with five assembly seats doled out to his party by the grand alliance partners? It is well known that Samajwadi Party has negligible base in Bihar. Its last Lok Sabha member from Bihar, as one can recall, was Pappu Yadav, who won from Purnia in 1996 – only to fall out with the party later.
On the other side, Mulayam seems to be forgetting his own party’s history. It was only in 2009, when he teamed up with former UP chief minister Kalyan Singh, when the latter was expelled from the BJP. Kalyan Singh was the CM when Babri Masjid was demolished in 1992.
This decision of his evoked strong reactions from the minority leaders as well as from within the Samajwadi Party. In 2009 general elections, all 12 minority candidates fielded by the Samajwadi Party lost.
But people knowing Uttar Pradesh and Samajwadi Party well assign an altogether different reason for Netaji’s sudden pullout from the grand alliance. They say that the CBI enquiry initiated against the disgraced Noida engineer-in-chief Yadav Singh is the one and only reason behind this move. Is the ghost of this CBI enquiry haunting Mulayam once again?
It is an open secret that Samajwadi Party is on the back-foot with CBI starting its probe in the Yadav Singh case as there is enough evidence that party MP Akshay Yadav and the son of Ram Gopal Yadav got shares of a company of Yadav Singh’s associate Rajendra Kumar Minocha.
This clearly explains why soon after Yadav Singh’s suspension, a one-member judicial commission was set up by the UP government to probe the multi-crore scam. This probe would also have met the same fate as was the botched up CB-CID enquiry against Yadav Singh in 2012.
In July 2015, when the Allahabad high court directed the CBI to investigate the case as, it remarked, “allegations were most serious and the probe was complex”. The UP government wasted no time in rushing to the supreme court against the high court order as it somehow or the other wanted to avoid the CBI enquiry against Yadav Singh. It came as a jolt to the Samajwadi Party government when the supreme court refused to entertain its plea.
Further investigations have revealed Yadav Singh’s close connections with the top Samajwadi Party leadership. Records of a firm owned by Yadav Singh’s associate Rajendra Kumar Minocha showed that 9,995 shares of his company, NM Buildwell Private Limited, were given to Samajwadi Party’s Firozabad MP Akshay Yadav, the son of party general secretary Ram Gopal Yadav, who is also a cousin of Mulayam.
Minocha is said to be a partner of Yadav Singh’s wife Kusum Lata and the SUV from which '10 crore were recovered from Yadav Singh’s house belonged to Minocha.
A cursory glance at the website of the registrar of companies (ROC) shows that Rajendra Minocha’s wife Namrata Minocha, Akshay Yadav and his wife (name spelt as) Richa Ahluwalia are directors in NM Buildwell. Akshay and Richa have been designated as additional directors of NM Buildwell. While Akshay’s appointment date is September 11, 2013, Richa was appointed on September 16, 2013.
It is said that Namrata Minocha later resigned from the board of directors. The date of incorporation of NM Buildwell is December 13, 2007 and its address is c/o A-16 Jitar Nagar, Parwana Road, Near Gagan Vihar, Delhi 110051. The email id of the company is firstname.lastname@example.org .
As per sources, in 2014, Akshay Yadav had purchased 1,000 shares worth '1 lakh from Rajendra Minocha’s NM Buildwell. Out of these, five shares were transferred to his wife Richa. At this time, the valuation was '2,050 per share. Also, when the deal took place, Yadav Singh was facing suspension due to corruption charges against him. He, however, resumed office after this deal, as per orders of the UP government.
Apart from this, Minocha is also a director of the Mcconn Infra Private Limited. This firm also came under the scanner during investigation in Yadav Singh’s case. Till 2013, Yadav Singh’s wife was also a director of Mcconn Infra though she resigned later. CBI investigations are on into allegations that the same firm was allotted 30 industrial plots on the orders of Yadav Singh.
History repeats itself
‘Once bitten, twice shy’ seems to be the case with the grand old man of Uttar Pradesh politics, Mulayam Singh Yadav.
In March 2007, advocate Vishwanath Chaturvedi had filed a PIL in the supreme court alleging accumulation of disproportionate assets by Mulayam, his sons Akhilesh and Prateek, and daughter-in-law Dimple. The supreme court directed the CBI to probe into allegations that the family members had amassed illegally, assets worth over '100 crore between 1999 and 2005. Mulayam had served as UP chief minister from 2003 to 2007. It was in September 2013, when Mulayam got respite from this case when the CBI told the apex court that it had insufficient evidence in the matter.
Time and again, questions have been raised on the functioning of the CBI and it is said that agency is used and misused by the central government as a tool to cow down parties in opposition. Senior JD(U) leader Sharad Yadav once said in parliament that it was no secret that CBI was a tool in the hands of the centre, and even admitted that when his alliance was in power in the centre, it too used CBI to advantage.
It was in 2013, when the supreme court, hearing the coal black allocation case, termed the CBI a “caged parrot” that “speaks in its master’s voice”. The bench headed by justice RM Lodha also asked the government whether it was contemplating a law to make the working of the CBI independent and insulate it from extraneous intrusions and interferences. The apex court went to the extent of saying that “if the CBI is not made independent, we will step in” and that “the job of the CBI is not to interact with government officials but to interrogate to find the truth”. The court also observed that the agency “must know how to stand up against all pulls and pressures by the government and its officials”.
(The story appears in the October 1-15, 2015 issue)
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