Days after the Central Bureau of Investigation questioned his parents, former Bihar Chief Ministers Lalu Prasad Yadav and Rabri Devi, on consecutive days, Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Yadav’s Delhi house is being searched in connection with the land-for-jobs case. The Enforcement Directorate is carrying out searches at over 15 locations in the case of alleged money laundering involving Lalu Prasad Yadav and his family members.
The CBI had on March 7 interrogated former union railway minister Lalu Yadav for five hours in Delhi at his daughter Misa Bharti’s Pandara Road house, where he is currently residing after his kidney transplant surgery. A day before, the probe agency had questioned Rabri Devi at her Patna residence.
The CBI case, which names the Yadav couple and their daughters Misa and Hema, among others, is based on accusations that Mr Yadav and his family members bought land at cheap rates in exchange for jobs during his tenure as Union Railway Minister from 2004 to 2009.
Besides the veteran politician, his wife and his daughters, the FIR, registered in May 2022, names 12 people who allegedly got jobs in exchange for land. In July last year, Mr Yadav’s aide and former Officer on Special Duty (OSD) Bhola Yadav was arrested by the CBI in the case.
The CBI filed a chargesheet against 16 people under charges of criminal conspiracy and provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act. They are all summoned by a court on March 15.
The raids come at a time when opposition parties have accused the Centre of misusing central agencies to settle political scores.
Eight Opposition parties had last week written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, alleging misuse of central agencies for the BJP’s political motives. Tejashwi Yadav, too, was among the signatories. The letter referred to Lalu Yadav among opposition leaders targeted by central agencies. It said the moves of central agencies “had often sparked suspicion that they were working as extended wings of the ruling dispensation”.