Within hours of sacked BSP leader Naseemuddin Siddiqui levelling charges against her, party chief Mayawati on Thursday hit back and accused her one-time protege of "blackmailing people by recording their phones and then extorting money". The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) supremo told the media here that Siddiqui is a blackmailer who misused party funds for his personal welfare.
Referring to purported clippings of audio recordings released by the former BSP General Secretary at his presser earlier in the day, the former Chief Minister said these had been "doctored" to defame her. Mayawati said when she asked the sacked leader to furnish details about money spent, he did not do so, forcing her to expel him. She claimed that many BSP workers too had complained about the former Minister.
As for Siddiqui's charge that Mayawati used derogatory language against the Muslims, she said she had always respected the minorities and his claims were a "bundle of lies". As for BSP Rajya Sabha member and General Secretary Satish Chandra Mishra, who was also targeted by Siddiqui, Maywati said Mishra had in fact served the BSP with dedication, so much so that he fought many party cases but did not charge legal fee.
She said Siddiqui was not even a patch on Mishra. Mayawati had expelled Siddiqui and his son Afzal on Wednesday, accusing him of involvement in anti-party activities. Naseemuddin hit back on Thursday and accused her of insulting Muslims, and seeking Rs 50 crores from him.