Siddhant Mohan, TwoCircles.net
Before the UP Elections, the Samajwadi Party and its internal affairs rivalled primetime television shows. Every other day, one of the disgruntled leaders in the party (and there were many) would do or say something that laid bare the party’s internal divide. After the elections, it seems BSP is now trying to rival SP, and instead of Akhilesh Yadav, it is now the turn of Mayawati to defend her position.
A couple of days ago, the BSP supremo Mayawati expelled one of the party’s most well-known leaders Naseemuddin Siddiqui and his son Afzal Siddiqui over the charges of corruption, money embezzling and creating unaccounted properties with the money which was suspected to be of party. These reasons were cited by senior BSP leader and Mayawati close aid Satish Chandra Mishra.
Soon after being expelled, Naseemuddin Siddiqui released a statement where he made some serious allegations against Mayawati. Naseemuddin said that the allegations, under which he was framed, were actually truth for ‘Mayawati & company’. The most serious allegation against Mayawati that she did not allowed Naseemuddin to visit his dying daughter, and kept him engaged for the election Mayawati was fighting in 1996.
He also took credit for the 22% vote share of BSP in the 2017 elections, adding that it would be much worse but for his efforts. The next day, Naseemuddin released a set of call recordings which he made and alleged that Mayawati asked him to pay 50 crores by selling his properties. Mayawati countered these allegations in a press conference, alleging that Naseemuddin had embezzled the money that was given to him for party membership. Naseemuddin also conspired allegedly among Muslim leaders and candidates of the party, and many have complained against him over the same.
It is important to add that while the recent tapes released by Naseemuddin prove nothing more than a rather-hurried attempt to trap ‘Mayawati and company’. The tapes released by Naseemuddin also failed to substantiate his stand and allegations that Mayawati asked him to pay 50 crore rupees by selling his properties. To the better assessment, let’s take a closer look at the tapes.
THE ONE WHERE ‘MAYAWATI CALLS FOUR MANDALS AND SHE SUSPECTED OF PHONE TAPPING’
This call was made from Mayawati’s office to Naseemuddin Siddiqui. Mayawati asked him to note down, “Meerut zone, Saharanpur zone, Muradabad zone and Bareilly zone, to whom you granted membership books, tell them to finalize their account in the office here. Ask them to come on 9th. And you too finalize the seat of Amar Pal Sharma.”
The conversation revealed that Mayawati was skeptical of talking on the telephone. She told Naseemuddin that she did not wanted to talk on the phone, but Naseemuddin kept pushing, following which Mayawati revealed that she thought her calls were being tapped.
Also, this tape shows that Naseemuddin was trying to keep himself aside from zonal (Mandal as Mayawati said) matters, and was constantly bragging about that he did not manage to get the membership books to those candidates or he did not ask for tickets for the same.
In the next few seconds, Mayawati got slightly angry after Naseemuddin constantly denied his involvement in any wrongdoing. Then Mayawati said, “You’re a senior person. I have not finalized any of the tickets without your wish, and you understand this.” Naseemuddin did not counter this time.
Mayawati said again, “You understand your responsibilities in the party. You are a senior person in the party. Without your consent, I did not finalize their tickets and get them membership books……So you talk to them and come with them on 9th. Then I will talk to them.”
Naseemuddin, this time, did not escape from his responsibility and said, “Ok Bahin ji! Ok.”
In press conference on the same issue, Mayawati told media that Naseemuddin had taken membership books from the party in large amount but he did not submit the remaining ones. Mayawati also said that partymen gave him money for those books but it never reached the party.
This tape also proves Mayawati’s worry for the membership book’s funds which Naseemuddin allegedly embezzled as she said, “Ye gareebon aur Majloomon ki party hai (This [BSP] is a party of poor downtrodden individuals).” At one point in the tape, Mayawati was heard saying that ‘party will distribute ticket in less’, but it was not clear if she was talking about Money or the number of members.
On May 9, Naseemuddin had to meet Mayawati at her residence with representatives of four zones with the account and expenditure details of membership books.
THE ONE WHERE ‘NASEEMUDDIN FEARED MAYAWATI’
May 9, Naseemuddin was called to Mayawati’s residence, but he said that he did not want to because the purpose of his job was with those men who were called from four zones.
When Mayawati put pressure on him, Naseemuddin, who sounded anxious and worried, said, “I have been tortured enough Bahin Ji. You, Anand bhaiya and Mishra ji, all have tortured me too much. I fear you.” Then he hung up the phone.
Listening to the tape, one can tell that Naseemuddin was bit anxious during this phone call and but later calls have put his allegations in danger.
THE ONE WHERE ‘NASEEMUDDIN DID NOT WANT TO MEET MAYAWATI’
Both these calls were made on May 9, but one cannot say with certainty as to which of these calls was made first. In these two part tapes, Naseemuddin only spoke to either Mayawati’s PS or operator to Mayawati. Naseemuddin was asked to come to Mayawati’s residence without those people. But Naseemuddin hesitated and constantly asked Mayawati’s aids to let him wait for them so he could come with them. Mayawati’s aides suggested various ways through which the rest of the personnel could get directed to Mayawati’s residence but Naseemuddin continuously insisted on letting him wait.
These calls have also confused a number of BSP leaders. While refusing to take sides, one party member told TwoCircles.net on the condition of anonymity, “Why was Naseemuddin hesitating in meeting Mayawati? Why was he continuously waiting for them (the other four) even after he committed himself to Mayawati’s orders? He dealt with the money in a way which could be revealed in that meeting, that’s why he was not ready to face Mayawati.”
Other party sources suggest that even if Mayawati is accused of giving tickets for money, and those allegations are true to some extent, this time Mayawati was serious after defeat in UP and Punjab. She was observing and managing things by herself this time.
In her press conference too, Mayawati said that she herself started to observe the works by senior leaders of the party after poll defeat and Naseemuddin was among those senior ones, and also because he was the face of party among Muslim cadres.
THE ONE ABOUT ‘CANDIDATES AND NASEEMUDDIN CANNOT SEE MAYAWATI UNHAPPY’
This conversation is located in a different context and took place before the above-mentioned calls.Mayawati told Naseemuddin to ‘finish the work soon which she assigned’. Naseemuddin replied that he did not wanted to see her angry and was ready to comply to her every order.
Then Mayawati listed four constituencies whose BSP candidates did not declared the details and expenditure of membership books, books were provided to them by reference of Naseemuddin. Naseemuddin did not deny his role on this occasion. Siwalkhas, Modinagar, Loniwala and the one under of Amarpal Sharma were listed as the four constituencies which Mayawati informed Naseemuddin.
Mayawati made her position clear by saying that it was the responsibility of Naseemuddin because he asked membership books for them. The details in this tape are crucial. Readers can hear that Mayawati did not asked Naseemuddin about property selling, but Naseemuddin, who was also tapping the phone call, himself was admitting that he will sell all the properties, to which Mayawati agreed. It is rather not clear from the tapes that the properties which Naseemuddin was referring about, were of what kind.
Party sources informed that Mayawati had a very animated conversation with Naseemuddin before this phone call. Naseemuddin was not recording calls at that time. But this time, he became cautious and started recording calls. Source said, “Naseem sahab basically does not want to get the real image out so he’s presenting Madam ji as a devil through half of the calls.”
At the end of this call, Naseemuddin was heard saying, “Record ho gaya hai, ye kaise pata chalega (How to find out that the call has been recorded successfully)?”
We were informed, “Madam ji wanted party fund that Naseemuddin had invested in properties. After being scolded by Mayawati, he sensed that his days in the party were over because his misdoings were surfacing.”
Moreover, we were told, “This is likely to be his first call recording, otherwise why he would ask whether the call was being recorded or not?”
Talking to the media too, Mayawati said that she did not want Naseemuddin properties, and instead the party money back. Mayawati’s stand was indirectly confirming the allegations against Naseemuddin.
THE ONE ABOUT ‘VOTES AND EVMS’
Mayawati called Naseemuddin and asked him about various constituencies. She was more focused in votes from Kushwaha community which had gone to BJP as Naseemuddin claimed. Then she asked Naseemuddin to finish the work, to which Naseemuddin replied in rather a pleading tone, “Bahin ji, maine party se ek paisa nahin liya hai, kewal diya hai (I have not taken a single penny from the party but only given to it).”
Naseemuddin said the same thing couple of times and Mayawati objected to the same every time he said it. After Mayawati’s objection the two kinds of response came from Naseemuddin.
When the first time Mayawati objected and said, “Aapne kya diya hai, party ne aapko bahut kuchh diya hai (Party has given to you a lot),” Naseemuddin replied, “Paisa. Paise ke liye bol raha tha (I was referring to money),” as he was trying to shift the conversation to focus on money, but Mayawati refused to comply.
The second time when Mayawati strongly objected in angry tone, he turned his reference towards membership from money. It is clear that Mayawati was trying to understand the vote equation behind the defeat, so she also mentioned the same to Naseemuddin. It sounds rather interesting that Mayawati was concerned over EVMs and did mention the possible cases where EVMs were rigged.
These phone calls leaked by Naseemuddin has in fact, given Mayawati the advantage. There is no doubt that there are serious allegations made against Mayawati regarding her taking money for tickets. However the tapes released by Naseemuddin have failed to support his claims and do him little good in helping him prove his innocence.