'Blackmail', '50-Crore Demand': Mayawati, Sacked Leader In Slanging Match

Naseemuddin Siddiqui said Mayawati demanded Rs 50 crore from him. Mayawati said he was blackmailing BSP members.

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'Blackmail', '50-Crore Demand': Mayawati, Sacked Leader In Slanging Match

Naseemuddin Siddiqui, one of the most prominent faces of the BSP, was sacked by Mayawati yesterday.

Lucknow: 

Highlights

  1. Naseemuddin Siddiqui was expelled from BSP by Mayawati on Wednesday
  2. Mr Siddiqui allege Mayawati and her brother asked him for 50 crores
  3. Mayawati said that Mr Siddiqui was a "big blackmailer"
Sensational charges and countercharges of corruption flowed this afternoon as Naseemuddin Siddiqui and Mayawati held back-to back tell-all press conferences. Mr Siddiqui, the leader expelled yesterday by Ms Mayawati, alleged that his expulsion has nothing to do with anti-party activities, but rather his failure to pay Rs. 50 crore that the Bahujan Samaj Party chief had demanded. Ms Mayawati said Mr Siddiqui was a "big blackmailer".

"He tries to provoke other members of the party, and tapes their comments," she said. Mr Siddiqui, she added, would later threaten them with expulsion and blackmail them.

Alleging that Ms Mayawati and her brother Anand had asked him for Rs. 50 crore, Mt Siddiqui said, "I asked from where I would get this amount, to which, she asked me to sell my property." The leader said he tried to explain that his property would not fetch even a quarter of that money.

Regarding her alleged demands for money, Ms Mayawati said Mr Siddiqui had kept money donated to the party by its various members. That he refused to hand it over is one of the reasons he was expelled.

Mr Siddiqui also alleged that Ms Mayawati had made derogatory remarks about the Muslim community - an allegation which can hurt the party which was powered to victory in the 2008 assembly elections by a rainbow coalition of upper and lower castes and Muslims.

He said ahead of the assembly elections in the state, he had told Ms Mayawati that the Muslims were drifting towards the Congress-Samajwadi Party alliance. "An upset Mayawati called the Muslim community 'gaddar' (traitors)," the former minister said.

Ms Mayawati hit back, saying after Mr Siddiqui was expelled, "many members from the Muslim community called us and said they were happy that he was removed... The community knows the kind of person I am and that I could not ever use such language against them."

One of the top leaders of BSP who had been a powerful minister in the erstwhile government of Ms Mayawati, Mr Siddiqui and his son Afzal were expelled yesterday.

Senior BSP leader Satish Chandra Mishra said they had amassed undeclared properties, ran illegal slaughter-houses and took money from people promising favours. Sources in the party said the expulsion could be Ms Mayawati's attempt to distance herself and her party from Mr Siddiqui, who faces several corruption cases that may be pursued by the new BJP government led by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.

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