Lalu Prasad Yadav and his family raided by CBI over corruption charges

Monday, 10 Jul, 2017

On Friday, the CBI carried out raids against Lalu Prasad, his wife Rabri Devi and his son Tejashwi Yadav on corruption charges during his tenure as Union rail minister in 2006.

The FIR also included Sarla Gupta, wife of Yadav's confidante, Prem Chand Gupta, a former Union corporate affairs minister.

The case against Lalu Yadav relates to alleged manipulation in award of contract for maintenance of two hotels run by a subsidiary of the Indian Railways - IRCTC - when the RJD chief was railway minister in the UPA government.

When Lalu Yadav became railway minister in 2004, he allegedly entered into a criminal conspiracy with Kochhars (owners of Sujata Hotel) and Sarla Gupta and unidentified IRCTC officials to earn "undue pecuniary" advantage for himself, the CBI FIR claimed.

Searches were conducted at 12 locations including Delhi, Patna, Ranchi, Puri and Gurgaon, they said. "Earlier, it was only me, now they have implicated everyone in my family, even my children". "Law of the land must take its own course in an impartial and just manner".

Lalu Prasad, who was in Ranchi for hearing in a CBI court in a fodder-scam related case, said he had been dealing with the CBI for 20 years and is not scared.

Several RJD leaders reacted strongly against the raids and gathered outside Lalu Prasad's residence to express solidarity.

However, Lalu denied the charge of quid pro quo, accusing the ruling BJP at Centre of conspiring against him.

According to the CBI, Lalu Yadav, as railway minister, kept track of the tender proceedings. "Without Lalu and a second rung leadership to oar the event, it would be a poor show", said a party leader. "This is the same chief minister who has constantly been asserting his government's zero tolerance policy towards corruption", said Modi. "While this land was valued at Rs, 32 crore, it was transferred to Lalu Prasad Yadav for a small fraction of it at Rs. 54 lakhs", Asthana said. "Don't utter a single world, if you say anything, CBI will be sent to your place or you could be booked in a money laundering case", he added.

Lalu informed the media that IRCTC had put open tenders for the development of some hotels and it was an absolute sale. "When will he seek Tejashwi and Tej Pratap's resignation?" asked party leader Sushil Kumar Modi.

At the same time, senior JD (U) leaders said they will not take any step that would give "advantage" to BJP indicating that they will not take any action that could lead to a split in the Bihar Mahagathbandhan.