‘BSP legislator was in touch with minister after murder’

December 31st, 2008 - 7:14 pm ICT by IANS  

Bahujan Samaj PartyLucknow, Dec 31 (IANS) Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) legislator Shekhar Tiwari, after allegedly beating government engineer Manoj Kumar Gupta to death, was in touch with an Uttar Pradesh minister from Kanpur, a senior intelligence official said here Wednesday.”Calls made from the MLA’s cellphone have confirmed that he had telephonic conversations with the minister,” the official told IANS on condition of anonymity.

Gupta, an executive engineer with the public works department (PWD), was lynched in Auraiya, about 225 km from here, Dec 24. Tiwari has been arrested for his alleged role in the murder. Opposition parties have said Gupta was killed because he refused to pay up Rs.5 million for Chief Minister Mayawati’s birthday bash next month.

Sources said electronic surveillance reports indicated Tiwari was present at the minister’s Kanpur residence barely 30 minutes before his arrest - though officially he was arrested from Rania, a semi-urban pocket on the outskirts of Kanpur.

This influential minister got Tiwari and his men “VIP treatment” at the Rania police station after their arrest, the sources said.

The minister, who is related to a senior party functionary and enjoys clout among those who matter in the party, was understood to have been instrumental in ensuring that the legislator’s name did not figure in the first information report (FIR), they said.

A top police officer of the state also initially took instructions from him, the sources added.

According to well-informed Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) insiders, the minister had earlier been quite instrumental in getting Tiwari to switch loyalties from the Samajwadi Party.

Tiwari’s induction into the BSP added to the minister’s political weight, since it was hailed as a success of the much-hyped “social engineering” programme spearheaded by Mayawati’s trusted aide and party national general secretary Satish Chandra Misra, the party’s Brahmin mascot, the party insiders said.

Even though Misra flatly denied having anything to do with Tiwari’s induction into the party, there are not may takers for the denial even within the party.

“How can you attribute every Brahmin’s entry into the BSP to me?” asked a visibly embarrassed Misra, who earlier was considered eager to claim credit for roping in a large number of Brahmins into the party that was earlier known for largely Dalit supporters.

After denying any role in Tiwari’s induction in the party, Misra has also denied he facilitated the entry into the BSP of yet another mafia don-turned-politician Aruna Shankar Shukla - better known as Anna.

“I have nothing whatsoever to do with Anna’s induction into our party,” Misra told IANS. “I was not even here when Anna joined the party.”

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