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Maya for catapulting Mishra to national scene
Shahira Naim
Tribune News Service

Lucknow, June 27
Satish Mishra wears multiple hats as cabinet minister, Rajya Sabha MP and national general secretary of the Bahujan Samaj Party. Within three months he would exchange his hat as cabinet minister for a strategic assignment to nationally replicate the UP social engineering experiment.

BSP supremo today came out strongly in support of her Man Friday and set at rest speculations about how and from where he would enter the Vidhan Sabha as well as what she described as “behudi” (shameless) reports of her government unduly favouring Mishra’s family members and members of the Brahmin community.

She said that in the coming days as the Lok Sabha poll draws close, Mishra would be assigned the task of luring the upper caste to the BSP at the national level, a task he had done credibly at the state level.

Recalling the “selfless and dedicated services of Mishra and members of his family” for the party during its most trying period, the Chief Minister spoke emotionally for almost an hour, detailing how Mishra, his father, sister, wife and other family members supported the party.

“I appointed his sister as chairperson of the State Women’s Commission and his brother as the chairman of the State Pollution Control Board. They are competent people and deserve every assignment that they were getting under the new regime,” she remarked.

It was at this point that she announced that Uttar Pradesh minister of state for health Anant Kumar Mishra, also a kin of Satish Mishra, would be the party’s candidate for the Farrukhabad Assembly byelection that will be held shortly. Mishra is not a member of either House. He lost from the Sarsaul Assembly constituency in the last month’s Assembly election.

Lashing out at the media for charging her with favouring the Brahmin community, she said “I am a cheli (disciple) of Kanshi Ram and like him would go out of my way to help those who are targeted by the media.” As a matter of fact, such allegations would further help the party by tempting more Brahmins, she added jokingly.

She also targeted the media for making an issue out of her declared assets of Rs 52 crore as disclosed in the affidavit filed for her legislative council election.

“Every bit of it has been a gift from my party people and I pay tax towards it,” she pointed out.

Giving a left-handed compliment to the BJP for the increase in her assets, she described how the harassment after she stepped down as Chief Minister in 2003 at the hands of the BJP-led NDA government at the Centre had resulted in her acquiring these assets.

“Falsely implicating me in Taj Heritage Corridor (THC) scam, the then government had ordered simultaneous CBI raids at Delhi and Lucknow as well as at the premises of my kin. When nothing was found, agitated members of my party from across the country decided to collect small amounts of money and gift it to me to invest in houses in Delhi and Lucknow, ” she revealed. She said unlike other leaders, her life was an “open book” as she did not have anything to hide. “Everything is mentioned in the income tax returns and the tax is paid,” the BSP supremo said.

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