Several members of RJD chief Lalu Prasad’s family were asleep when the CBI came to search their 10 Circular Road residence here around 6 am. While the raid continued for eight hours, the scene outside gave little indication of the goings-on.
Rabri Devi was at one point seen strolling on the premises, but her two minister sons stayed indoors. Lalu was in Ranchi in connection with some fodder scam cases.
Only the replica of a green lantern (the RJD election symbol) beside the main gate, and a poster of Tej Pratap and Tejashwi Prasad Yadav — the minister sons — describing them as “Bihar ke do anmol ratna (two precious gems of Bihar)” were visible outside while more than 25 CBI sleuths were at work.
The sleuths gave little information to the media, occasionally saying that they were just doing their work.
Lalu’s aide and Hilsa MLA Shakti Singh Yadav stayed posted at the residence, giving occasional quotes to the media.
“Our leader has told us that everyone in the party has to become a Lalu if he is arrested before our August 27 rally. It is a pure case of political vendetta. Everyone can guess how the CBI is being misused,” he said.
RJD state president Ram Chandra Purve said that several BJP leaders had “threatened action”, adding, “Lalu has seen worse times and will come out of it.”
While there was anger within the party over the CBI raids, a group of party supporters was calm.
They had been told not to engage in vociferous protests and allow the CBI to do its job. “Such land transactions came to light in 2008 when JD(U) minister Rajiv Ranjan Singh alias
Lalan Singh accused Lalu of taking land in lieu of Railway jobs. Nothing happened then because the plots were not in the name of Lalu’s family. But now the family is in dire straits,” said a supporter.
“The political vendetta will only expand Lalu’s support base,” said another supporter.