New Delhi: It is shocking to many how the 'sickular' establishment in Indian polity has tried to give a communal spin.
UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath's 'Abba Jaan' jibe was actually about the infamous food grains scam of 2004 when Samajwadi Party stalwart Mulayam Singh Yadav was in power, heading the state government.
The scam happened between August-December 2004, and the issue again surfaced around 2007, later when Congress leader Kapil Sibal had demanded a CBI probe and matters reached CBI's and ED doorsteps.
Sibal waxed eloquent to allege the 'scandal' and had said there was a "systematic loot".
"Ninety percent of the food grains given by the Centre never reached the beneficiaries. These were lifted by the food-mafia instead of the fair price shop owners and then sold in the black market," Sibal had said (reported in 'The Hindustan Times' on May 1, 2007).
The scandal had surfaced after district administrations, and officials from 30 districts wrote to the Mulayam Singh government in Lucknow informing about the misappropriation.
For those who are keen to refresh memories–the scam occurred in Barabanki, Gonda, Basti, Sultanpur, Sitapur, Akbarpur and Allahabad (now Prayagraj), among other places in rural Uttar Pradesh.
Even Railways were intimidated about the alleged misappropriation. P C Chaturvedi, Secretary, Food and Civil Supplies, had informed railway authorities that a large number of railway rakes were utilized to move wheat and rice even to Bangladesh.
Interestingly, the scam occurred during Raja Bhaiya (Raghuraj Pratap Singh) as the state Food Minister. Some of the food grain supplies also reached Nepal, and a media probe then (a website known for being Congress friendly) claimed that Raja Bhaiya could manage a profit of 20 million US dollars.
Congress-Samajwadi Party relations were very bad in those days.
The probe agencies also held some notes that showed how the disgruntled elements engineered the scandal. Later in 2010–and yet again–during the UPA regime in Delhi, the Samajwadi Party (post-nuke-deal politics) extended outside support to the Manmohan Singh government.
But by then, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) had decided to probe money laundering charges in the food grains scam that happened in 2004 and, to an extent, at a later stage. Of course, the ED move came close on the heels of an order from the Allahabad High Court that had taken strong exception to the siphoning of the money and food grains meant for the poor people. Before that, in October-November 2008, the CBI had registered eight cases in connection with the scam.
Curiously, the Congress leadership has now seemed to have gone on a Rip Van Winkle syndrome.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi posted on Twitter: "Jo nafrat kare, woh yogi kaisa! (What kind of a Yogi propagates hate?)"
BJP leader Gaurav Bhatia also hit back at the former Congress president.
"No one in politics takes Rahul Gandhi seriously. Jo dangaion se nafrat kare, bhrashtacharion se nafrat kare, aatankwadion se nafrat kare aur desh-pradesh ko surakshit kare wo Yogi hi hai (The one who hates rioters, who hates the corrupt, hates terrorists and secures the state and the country, that is Yogi). Maybe it wasn't taught to you in Congress school," Bhatia said.