Trouble mounts for Lalu Prasad, convicted in a fodder scam case and facing trial in others as CBI summons him over irregularities in awarding contract during his tenure as railway minister.
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Thursday issued fresh summons to Rashtriya Janata Dal
(RJD) leader Lalu Prasad and his son Tejashwi Prasad Yadav, former deputy chief minister of Bihar, in
connection with irregularities in awarding contracts during Lalu’s tenure as the railway minister
While Prasad was asked to appear before the CBI in New Delhi on September 11, son Tejashwi had to
appear on September 12.
The news of the CBI summons came when Prasad was in Ranchi to appear in court in connection with the
animal husbandry scam trial.
Prasad – convicted in the fodder scam – continues to face legal troubles. One of the five fodder cases
has been reopened. And following a Supreme Court order to complete the trial within nine months, the
court has begun hearing the cases on priority basis. Lalu has had to travel to Jharkhand to appear
before the court on a weekly basis.
Reacting to the CBI summon, RJD spokesperson Shakti Singh Yadav said the government was adopting
different yardsticks in dealing with Prasad and those guilty of swindling public money in the Rs 1,300
crore Srijan government fund transfer scandal in Bihar. He questioned why the Central government did
not show the same alacrity in acting against the accused in the Srijan scam.
The CBI had searched the homes and properties of Prasad and his family on July 7 as part of
investigations into alleged irregularities in leasing out railway hotels when the RJD chief was the
The raids were carried out at 12 locations in five cities a day after the CBI filed cases against
Prasad, his wife Rabri Devi and son Tejashwi, among others.
Prasad cried conspiracy, saying he was being targeted for uniting the opposition against the Modi
However, JD(U) spokesperson Sanjay Singh on Thursday said the CBI action was not part of any political
conspiracy. Taking potshots at the RJD chief, he said Prasad’s name should be entered into the Guinness
Book of World Records for amassing huge benami property.
There are a spate of allegations against Lalu and his family members.
The Income Tax department had recently raided 22 locations in New Delhi and adjoining places, related
to land and farm houses owned by Lalu’s daughter, Misa Bharti and her husband Shailesh Kumar. After
questioning by the Enforcement Directorate, it provisionally attached a farm house (26, Palam Farms,
Bijwasan, in New Delhi) on September 5.
His son and deputy chief minister Tejashwi Yadav is alleged to hold big stakes in a company promoting
Bihar’s biggest mall in the state capital worth Rs 750 crore. Another son Tej Pratap is alleged to hold
big tracts of land; and daughters – Misa, Hema and Ragini – have been accused of being directors in
many shell companies. In all of this, the charge is that Lalu’s position in power was misused to amass
There are also accusations against Prasad of taking prime land from RJD’s senior leaders like
Raghunanth Jha, Kanti Singh and few ordinary people in lieu of ministerial berths and jobs during his
stint at railway minister.