Sunday, Dec 04, 2022

CBI targets RJD in ‘land for jobs’; Tejashwi calls agencies Centre’s ‘jamai’

The raids provoked a strong response from the RJD with Tejashwi describing the CBI, ED and I-T department as the “jamai” (sons-in-law) of the BJP-led Centre.

Security personnel outside the residence of RJD MLC Sunil Singh during a CBI raid in Patna on Wednesday. (PTI)

ON A day when the RJD joined hands with the JD(U) to win the trust vote for their new government in Bihar, the CBI launched search operations at several locations in the state, apart from Delhi and Gurgaon, against RJD leaders in connection with its probe in the “land for jobs” case. The case is directed at RJD founder Lalu Prasad and his family members, including the new Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Prasad Yadav.

The raids provoked a strong response from the RJD with Tejashwi describing the CBI, ED and I-T department as the “jamai” (sons-in-law) of the BJP-led Centre.

Speaking in the Bihar Assembly during the trust vote on Wednesday, Tejashwi said, “When they fail to buy over their political opponents, woh log jamai ko aage kar dete hain (they put forward the sons-in-law). They launch them on those who can neither be cowed down or bought over.”

Among the locations searched was an under-construction shopping mall, Urban Cubes, in Sector 71 of Gurgaon which, CBI sources alleged, is linked to Tejashwi. “The mall is owned by Whiteland Corporation Ltd…we have information that Tejashwi has beneficial interest. Our investigations have found that proceeds of crime from the ‘land for jobs’ deal were diverted to this property,” a CBI official said.

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Tejashwi denied the charges. “I am appalled at some media coverage attributing a Gurgaon mall ownership to me. I am also dismayed at the homework of the CBI, which has been conducting raids there,” he said, claiming that he had “learnt that the mall was opened by a BJP MP”.

The CBI also conducted raids at offices of Elite Landbase Pvt Ltd in Sector 42 of Gurgaon. According to CBI sources, the company is allegedly linked to the mall’s construction.

The sources said raids were carried out at more than 25 locations, including in Patna, Katihar and Madhubani in Bihar, at premises allegedly linked to RJD treasurer and MLC Sunil Singh as well as two Rajya Sabha MPs from the party, Faiyaz Ahmed and Ashfaque Karim, among others. Premises allegedly linked to former RJD MLC Subodh Rai were also raided, they said.


According to CBI sources, officers conducting the searches recovered around 200 sale deeds which, they suspect, are linked to the “land for jobs” case. “In the FIR, we have mentioned only five sale deeds. But during investigation, more people have come forward to report on RJD leaders who took land from aspirants to provide jobs,” a CBI official said.

Last month, the CBI had arrested Bhola Yadav, the former OSD to Lalu Yadav when he was the Railways Minister, and a Railways employee in connection with its probe. The case pertains to allegations that Lalu Prasad and his family got plots of land in Patna and elsewhere for a pittance in return for granting jobs in the Railways.

As part of the probe, the CBI had booked Prasad and his family members in a fresh case of corruption in May this year. The agency had also launched search operations at 17 locations on premises allegedly linked to Prasad and his family members, including his daughter Misa Bharti.


According to the agency, at least 12 people were appointed under the alleged “land for jobs” scam to Group D posts in the Railways from Patna. According to the CBI, Prasad’s family allegedly acquired over 1 lakh sq ft for just Rs 26 lakh when the then cumulative market value of the land was over Rs 4.39 crore.

The agency has named 16 people, including Lalu Prasad, his wife Rabri Devi, his daughters Misha Bharti and Hema Yadav, as accused in the FIR. The CBI initiated a preliminary enquiry in this regard in September last year.

In 2018, the CBI had filed a chargesheet in the alleged IRCTC scam against Prasad, Rabri Devi and Tejashwi. In this case, the CBI alleged that as Railways minister, Lalu Prasad favoured a company in contracts of two IRCTC hotels for operation and maintenance. The agency alleged that in return Prasad’s family received prime land in Patna at a throwaway price from the company’s owners.

On Wednesday, Tejashwi questioned the status of the case against him. “What happened to it? Everyone knows how the Railways was converted into a massive profitable venture under the tenure of Lalu Prasad. And you targeting the family of the person who got Railways such profit,” he said.

The latest raids were also questioned by RJD leaders. MLC Sunil Singh said, “This is 100 per cent intentional. These people have entered my house without even informing the local police. They asked me to sign a document.”


RJD Rajya Sabha MP Manoj Jha said, “Be it ED or CBI, all such raids are carried out to benefit the BJP.” JD(U) MLC and spokesperson Neeraj Kumar described the raids as “a dangerous test of strength by the Central government in Bihar through CBI and ED”.

(With agencies)

First published on: 24-08-2022 at 09:14:08 am
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