The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Wednesday conducted searches at the houses of several Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leaders said to be close to the family of party chief Lalu Prasad, in the land-for-Railway job scam case.
The action came ahead of the grand alliance government proving its majority in the Assembly.
The CBI raided the residences of RJD leaders — former MLC Subodh Rai, Rajya Sabha member Ashfaque Karim, MLC Sunil Singh and Faiyaz Ahmad — in the morning. It was also said that the CBI raided an under-construction mall in Gurugram allegedly owned by RJD leader and Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Yadav. However, Mr. Yadav strongly denied that it was owned by him.
The agency also searched the residences and business premises of RJD leaders Syed Abu Dojana and Subhas Yadav.
Criticising the action, the ruling JD(U) said: “People are watching all this.”
During the searches, also conducted in Delhi and Gurugram, the agency had so far seized more than 200 property sale documents, said an official. “The raids were done intentionally by the Centre. I will file a defamation suit against the CBI,” alleged RJD treasurer Sunil Singh.
Janata Dal (United) leaders too condemned the CBI raids. “This is like a show of strength by the BJP government at the Centre ahead of new Mahagathbandhan government proving majority in the House,” said JD (U) spokesperson Niraj Kumar.
State BJP president Sanjay Jaiswal told mediapersons that “Chief Minister Nitish Kumar himself had demanded a probe into the case and investigation is going on”.
“The JD(U) leaders had provided papers to the investigating agencies on corruption charges against RJD leaders. In 2017, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar had even sought an explanation from Tejashwi Yadav and when the law is taking its own course, there should not be politics on it,” said senior BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi.
In July, RJD leader Bhola Yadav, who has been a close aide of Prasad for several years, was arrested and sent to jail in the case. The CBI had earlier conducted raids at party leader Rabri Devi’s official residence 10, Circular Road as well in connection with the case. The CBI case is that when Prasad was Railway Minister in the UPA government, candidates got Railway jobs in exchange of land parcels.