May 20, 2022 1:57:41 pm
CBI teams on Friday began conducting raids at residences of former Bihar chief ministers Lalu Prasad and Rabri Devi as well as at the residence of Leader of Opposition in the Assembly Tejashwi Prasad Yadav in Patna, Gopalganj, Delhi and other places in the 2017 IRCTC case in which the premier investigating agency has filed a chargesheet against the three. The case pertained to allegations of Lalu Prasad offering jobs in lieu of land plots during his tenure as Union railway minister.
The CBI teams have started raids at 10, Circular Road, the Patna residence of Rabri Devi. The teams also visited three other locations in Patna where the family owns plots or houses. These locations are in Mahuabagh area near Phuleari Sharif, Danapur Khatal (cowshed) and Marachhiya Devi apartments in Ranjan Path. Besides Patna, raids are also being conducted at the Gopalganj house of Lalu Prasad and in Gurgaon and Delhi, besides other locations where the agency suspects the family owns property.
While the ailing Lalu Prasad is in Delhi, Tejashwi is in London and Rabri Devi is at her Patna residence.
The RJD called the raids “political vendetta of the worst order”. Senior RJD leader Shakti Singh Yadav said: “We have been telling it right from the start. It is political vendetta of the worst order. The BJP is targeting regional parties.”
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Asked if the raids have anything to do with the growing proximity of the JD(U) and RJD on the caste census matter and the bonhomie between Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and Tejashwi seen during recent Iftaar parties, Yadav said: “That could be possible. The BJP has been out to destroy regional parties like us”.
RJD spokesperson Mrityunjay Tewari added: “The timing of the raids smacks of political vendetta. Whenever there has been any hint of RJD and JD (U) getting closer, the BJP resorts to such tactics”.
BJP national spokesperson and Bihar industries minister Syed Shahnawaz Hussain, however, said: “Law has been taking its own course, the CBI has been doing its job. Allegations of the CBI being misused emerge from the RJD’s frustration.”
Senior JD (U) leader and building construction minister Ashok Kumar Choudhary took a cautious stand. “The CBI has been doing its job. Let us not read politics into it,” he said.
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