Lalu & Fam­ily May Face More Cases Over ‘Be­nami Prop­er­ties’

Nearly 150 be­nami prop­er­ties al­legedly owned by RJD chief & fam­ily un­der scru­tiny

The Economic Times - - Pure Politics - Mad­hu­parna.Das @times­group.com

Patna: Nearly 150 be­nami prop­er­ties al­legedly owned by the Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Lalu Prasad and his fam­ily are un­der the scan­ner of the cen­tral and state agen­cies fol­low­ing the col­lapse of the ma­ha­gath­band­han or grand al­liance in Bi­har. BJP leader and new deputy chief min­is­ter Sushil Modi has vowed to bring more cases of cor­rup­tion in­volv­ing Prasad and his fam­ily to light, even as the RJD chief and his younger son, erst­while deputy CM Te­jashwi Ya­dav, have started a cam­paign de­mand­ing ac­tion in the cases lodged against Modi and Chief Min­is­ter Ni­tish Ku­mar.

“I have around nine cases. But I can ex­plain those cases,” Modi told ET. “Five of them were lodged when Ad­hikar ag­i­ta­tion (for de­mand­ing that the Cen­tre grant spe­cial sta­tus to Bi­har) was go­ing on. Three of them are defama­tion cases slapped by Sadhu and Pappu Ya­dav. And a case was also lodged for rail roko. Th­ese cases can­not be equated with cor­rup­tion charges worth thou­sands of crores against one par­tic­u­lar fam­ily. They were never willing to ex­plain those cases, they only shouted say­ing ‘po­lit­i­cal vendetta’.”

The be­nami prop­er­ties al­legedly owned by Prasad and his fam­ily are lo­cated in Patna, Delhi and Au­rangabad. Be­sides the land and soil cases, Modi has al­leged a sand min­ing scam against Prasad’s fam­ily mem­bers and other RJD lead­ers.

A po­lice of­fi­cial said that a crack­down has been launched against RJD work­ers and sup­port­ers against whom crim­i­nal cases are lodged. “Around 100 men have al­ready been rounded up. There are many cases, which were pend­ing. All th­ese cases will be in­ves­ti­gated and all pend­ing war­rants will be ex­e­cuted,” said the of­fi­cial who did not want to be iden­ti­fied.

While Te­jashwi Ya­dav is al­ready be­ing probed by the cen­tral in­ves­ti­gat­ing agen­cies for his al­leged in­volve­ment in the land scam, cases in­clud­ing zoo soil case have been ini­ti­ated against Prasad’s el­der son and erst­while state health min­is­ter Tej Pratap Ya­dav. Re­spond­ing to Te­jashwi Ya­dav’s claim that the Cen­tral Bureau of In­ves­ti­ga­tion had ini­ti­ated a case against him when he was a mi­nor, Modi said, “Ac­cord­ing to the FIR, charges against Te­jashwi per­tain to 2014, when he be­came a di­rec­tor of the com­pany which bought land worth .₹ 94 crore pay­ing only .₹ 94 lakh. As far as Tej Pratap’s ca-

FAM­ILY PLOT

se is con­cerned, it is small in stature. It is a case in which a mis­ap­pro­pri­a­tion of .₹ 40-50 lakh is in­volved. But the sand min­ing case is a more se­ri­ous one. It will in­volve many RJD lead­ers and it is a case worth crores.”

Fol­low­ing the col­lapse of the grand al­liance, in­ves­ti­ga­tions have be­gun in at least a dozen cases, some of which are fresh while the rest are old cases that have been re­opened, of­fi­cials said.

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