CBI, ED raids on Lalu family reaction to govt change in Bihar: RJD

In a statement, RJD MP Manoj Jha said that the CBI and the ED were following “someone else’s script” against Opposition leaders.

New Delhi | Updated: 10 March, 2023 6:23 pm IST
RJD supremo Lalu Prasad Yadav, his wife, and son Tejashwi Yadav (from right to left) are accused in the land-for-job case.

Bihar’s Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) on Friday termed the Enforcement Directorate’s (ED) massive searches at properties of its senior leaders as BJP’s “reaction” to the change in government in Bihar last year.

Earlier in the day, ED teams carried out searches at 24 locations linked to daughters of Lalu Prasad Yadav, and his son and Bihar deputy chief minister Tejashwi Yadav in the land-for-job “scam” that allegedly took place when Lalu was the railway minister in the UPA government.

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“The image of agencies like the CBI and the ED has been tarnished. It is not their raid. They are going for raids with someone else’s script. They conducted searches at the residence of Lalu Ji’s daughters and our deputy CM Tejashwi Yadav. What did they find?” Jha asked.

The financial investigation agency conducted searches at the premises of Tejashwi and his sisters Ragini, Chanda and Hema in Delhi-NCR and at the properties of former RJD MLA Syed Abu Dojana in Patna’s Phuwari Sharif. Searches were also carried out in Mumbai and Ranchi.

Reacting to ED searches, the lawmaker said that the land-for-job case has been reopened in a “reaction to what happened in August 2022”.

In August last year, chief minister Nitish Kumar walked away from the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) and joined hands with the RJD to form the new government. Tejashwi was made the deputy CM and is said to be in line to succeed Kumar later this year.

“We are not going to bow down. Despite all this, Lalu Ji stands firm,” Jha said, adding, “Tomorrow, you may be in the Opposition and the same thing can happen to you.” “Would that be appropriate?” he asked.

Lalu’s second daughter Rohini Acharya, who donated her kidney to the former Bihar CM, in a series of tweets slammed the ED and the ruling BJP.

“We will remember this injustice. Everything will be remembered. What crime have my sisters’ little children committed? What crime has the pregnant sister-in-law committed (Tejashwi Yadav’s wife)? Why everyone is being tortured? Everyone is being tortured since this morning,” she alleged.

Acharya further said, “The only crime of the Lalu and Rabri family is that they have never bowed in front of fascists and rioters. The answer to these injustices will be given when the time comes. Now, this is all out of tolerance.”

On Tuesday, the CBI questioned Lalu Prasad Yadav for more than five hours in connection with the case. His wife and former Bihar CM Rabri Devi was quizzed a day before.

A Delhi court has also summoned Lalu Prasad, Rabri, and several others in connection with the case on March 15. Lalu is currently out on bail in the fodder scam case.

Lalu, Rabri, and Misa Bharti along with 13 others were named in the CBI charge sheet filed in October last year.

According to CBI sources, during the investigation carried out so far and during the agency searches in August last year, the CBI recovered over 200 sale deeds.

A source said that many candidates would have given their land to get jobs. The source claimed that CBI’s initial investigation showed the identification of 12 such candidates who got jobs when Lalu Prasad Yadav was the railway minister between 2004 and 2009.

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