Patna, July 8 (IANS) Bihar deputy chief minister Tejashwi Yadav has come under the radar of the central agencies and the threat of arrest is looming over his head in the IRCTC land-for-jobs scam.
Tejashwi Yadav along with his family members is on a foreign tour and is expected to return to India in one or two days. The CBI has filed a supplementary charge sheet against Tejashwi Yadav in the Rouse Avenue special court of the CBI in New Delhi and he has to appear physically there on July 15.
Following the charge sheet, BJP leaders in Bihar are demanding that chief minister Nitish Kumar sack him from the cabinet while the RJD is taking a firm stand against it.
Lalu Prasad Yadav, Tejashwi’s father and the supreme leader of the RJD while interacting with media persons in Patna, said: “Many charge sheets have come and gone but we are standing here and ready to uproot Narendra Modi from the Centre. He is fit now and will fit Narendra Modi.”
The statement of Lalu Prasad has importance in the context of the agencies pressure on Tejashwi Yadav. He is the political successor of Lalu Prasad and had shown his ability in the 2020 assembly elections when he single-handedly took on Nitish Kumar and the BJP in Bihar and the RJD became the single largest party in the assembly.
Legal experts believe that the supplementary charge sheet of the CBI would not stand in the court as it has given a clean chit to Tejashwi twice in the past. He was charged for the first time in 2017 in the IRCTC land-for-job case and he came out clean.
“It would be interesting to see what new evidence the CBI has against Tejashwi Yadav. When the land-for-job case happened Tejashwi Yadav was 19 years old. There is a narrative here that Tejashwi Yadav is one of the beneficiaries of the land-for-job scam and his Rs 150 crore bungalow in New Delhi’s New Friends Colony was obtained in a similar way. If that is the case, then why has the CBI given a clean chit to him in the past and why did it not arrest him. It could be a case for the Enforcement Directorate (ED) where it would be asked about how a company where Tejashwi is chairman had obtained it,” said Arun Kumar, a senior lawyer of the Patna High Court.
“I have not seen the papers of the bungalow. There is a buzz in the media that the company of Tejashwi has obtained it for just Rs 4 lakh. If that is true then a case related to breaching the circle rate may be imposed on it. The value of the circle rate can be deposited in court along with a penalty,” he said.
“The legal team of the party is working on it and it must be prepared to tackle the situation,” said Mritunjay Tiwari, spokesperson of the RJD.
“I believe that the supplementary charge sheet is a reaction to Lalu Prasad Yadav’s statement where he said that he would become fit and he would fit Narendra Modi. The central agencies are acting on the direction of Narendra Modi and targeting Tejashwi Yadav and other leaders of opposition parties. The Narendra Modi government does not want any leader to speak against him and if any leader becomes vocal against him, he is using the central agencies to target him,” Tiwari said.
The BJP leaders of Bihar are raising this issue to set a narrative that Lalu Prasad’s family was involved in corruption.
BJP Rajya Sabha MP Sushil Kumar Modi demanded that CM Nitish Kumar sack Tejashwi Yadav from the post of deputy chief minister immediately.
Sushil Modi referred to Nitish Kumar’s stand on Lalu Prasad when he was charge-sheeted in the fodder scam when he demanded Lalu’s termination from the union ministry.
“Nitish Ji is the chief minister of Bihar and he has zero tolerance for corruption. I want to ask him to remember his stand when Lalu Prasad Yadav was charge-sheeted in the fodder scam. Now, Tejashwi Yadav is charge-sheeted in the IRCTC land-for-job scam. I want to ask him whether he would protect him or sack him from the post of deputy chief minister,” Modi asked.
“The documents related to this scam were provided by JD-U national president Lalan Singh. Tejashwi Yadav is an owner of AB Export Private Limited which had purchased a four storey building in New Delhi’s New Friends Colony in just Rs 4 lakh. The market price of the building is Rs 150 crore. The CBI filed a supplementary charge sheet against Tejashwi Yadav and claimed that he had purchased the building using the money from the IRCTC land-for- jobs scam,” Modi said.
“The supplementary change sheet against Tejashwi Yadav has nothing to do with an opposition unity meeting as Lalu Yadav and his wife Rabri Devi were already charge-sheeted in the past,” Modi said.
Tejashwi Yadav, Lalu Prasad, Misa Bharti, Hema Yadav, Rabri Devi and others are facing charges of corruption in the IRCTC scam. The CBI registered a FIR against Tejashwi Yadav and others in 2017 while the court had given bail to him on October 6, 2018.
The IRCTC land-for-job scam took place between 2004 and 2009 and Lalu Prasad was the Union railway minister. During his tenure, two hotels were given on lease without following the norms. One of the hotels was allotted to Sarla Gupta, the wife of Prem Gupta, a close friend of Lalu Prasad Yadav. He was also a Rajya Sabha MP at that time.
Besides, Lalu Prasad and Tejashwi Yadav, Prem Gupta, Sarla Gupta, railway officials Rakesh Saksena and PK Goyal were also accused in this case.
The first case:
Lal Babu Rai sold his 1360 gudge land to Rabri Devi for Rs 13 lakh and his son Lalchand Kumar got a job in the railways.
Vishindev Rai sold his 3375 square feet land to Lalan Chaudhary and had later gifted the same land to Hema Yadav. Pintu Kumar, the son of Lalan Chaudhary, got a job in the Railways.
Sanjay Rai, a resident of Patna, had sold his 3375 square feet land to Rabri Devi for Rs 3.75 lakh. Sanjay Rai and two other members of his family got jobs in the Railways.
Hajari Rai had sold his 9527 square feet land to AK Infosystem Pvt Ltd and Rabri Devi became the owner of the company in 2014. For this, Hajari’s two nephews Dilchand Kumar and Premchand Kumar got jobs in the Railways.