By Kulsum Mustafa
Everything is fair in love and war.
Never was this phrase more aptly applied than in the case of the recent raids conducted in Uttar Pradesh towns -Kanpur and Kannauj premises of itaar and gutka businessman Piyush Jain. The five-day-long raids, involving multiple government agencies and huge state machinery, are being termed as the biggest ever operation of its kind in Independent India. The raids have revealed Rs 196 crores in cash, 23 kgs of gold, besides silver and tones of Chandan oil which is used in making itaar.
It must be mentioned here that the raids came immediately after some media houses had on their channels and in their print editions announced openly that the government was planning to corner the Opposition by letting loose a series of tax raids on their top leaderships and also their supporters and party funders.
Right from the beginning, it was the ‘political identity’ of the accused business that was the focus of attention. The political affiliation of the accused trader is of vital importance considering that five states of India, including Uttar Pradesh, go to polls in 2022. Immediately after the raids started, the Uttar Pradesh chief minister, Yogi Adityanath, at his election rallies at Prayagraj, Sitapur, and Pratpagarh linked the accused trader to Samajwadi Party. He said the recovered wealth is the public money which the SP leaders have been stacking away as personal wealth.
Akhilesh Yadav, SP president and former chief minister of the state, took his time in reacting to this accusation, chiefly due to personal reasons. He was keeping off public functions as his wife and daughter had tested COVID-19 positive. But at his Unnao election rally on Tuesday, Yadav not only denied the trader’s link with his party but also laughed at BJP’s‘ digital India’ failure which picked the BJP Jain when it was directed to pick on the SP party Jain.
Yadav said Shikhar Pan Masala group and perfume trader, Piyush Jain is actually an active funder of the BJP and the party leadership is deliberating trying to mislead the masses and attempting to defame SP by projecting him as Pushraj Jain who is also a businessman from Kannuaj and has been in the news as the man who had recently launched the Samajwadi itar made from of 22 flowers from the party dias, in Lucknow.
The media gave this launch much coverage and Akhilesh called it the ‘scent of success, peace, and amity’ and said this ‘Scent of Socialism’ will herald the arrival of his party with a thumping majority in 2022 in the state.
Incidentally, both these Jains have some common factors. First being similar sounding first names (Piyush and Pushpraj), similar sir name, (Jain), both are in itaar business and both hail from Kannuaj.
The SP leader said the raid findings reveal that demonetization is the biggest failure of the BJP government. Yadav charged the party of subjecting so many innocent and helpless Indians to the grind of demonetization when all the time it was only following its secret agenda. He accused the BJP of filling the pockets of select business tycoons by implementing this Draconian and totally anti-people demonetization policy.