The Central Bureau of Investigation has registered a case against Lalu Yadav, his wife Rabri Devi and son and Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Yadav in connection with a alleged scam that occurred during Lalu Yadav’s tenure as Union railway minister in 2006.
CBI registers FIR over alleged corruption in IRCTC hotel allotment case, searches were conducted at more than 12 locations in Delhi, Gurugram, Ranchi and Puri. The searches began at 5.30 am on Friday. Besides the Rashtriya Janata Dal chief and his family members, former Managing Director of the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation PK Goyal and Sarla, wife of Yadav’s close aide Prem Chand Gupta, who had served as the Minister of Corporate Affairs between 2007 and 2009. have also been named in the CBI’s First Information Report, according to The Hindu reported.
Lalu Yadav says “I have not done anything wrong,” he claimed. “I have nothing to do with the [IRCTC hotels] tender process. Everything was done according to the system.”
He alsoalleged that it was a “BJP conspiracy” to target him and his family repeatedly. “It is a political vendetta against me and family,” the RJD chief said. “They want us to bow before the BJP.”
Government, BJP have no role in CBI raids against Lalu Yadav, says Venkaiah Naidu
CBI conducted a press conference, the agency said it was a case of “fraud and corruption”. “Yadav had given private hotel firm [Sujata Hotels] a tender for BNR Hotels in Ranchi and Puri illegally when he was the railway minister,” CBI Additional Director Rakesh Asthana said, confirming that the agency was still carrying out a number of raids at multiple locations.
Former IRCTC Managing Director PK Goyal’s house in Gurugram, Haryana, was also raided in connection with the Railway hotel tender case. Security has been increased around Lalu Prasad’s house in Patna and the road leading to it.
CBI also said that, Lalu acquired three acres of land in Patna worth Rs 32 crores for “a mere Rs 54 lakhs.”
CBI Additional Director Rakesh Asthana also said, “The tender process was rigged and manipulated and the conditions were tweaked to help the private party,” In return, three acres of land in western Patna was given to M/s Delight Marketing Private Limited which is known to Lalu, at a really low cost,” Asthana said.
On the news of CBI case against Lalu yadav several supporters and party RJD’s leader gathered at the house of Lalu yadav, who himself is currently in Ranchi to appear before a CBI court in connection with the fodder scam.
Hotel tenders case against Lalu Prasad Yadav and family: CBI raid at New Friends Colony in Delhi pic.twitter.com/YOK8hmiQW5
— ANI (@ANI_news) July 7, 2017
“Today is darkest day in Indian democracy,” RJD leader Manoj Jha told ANI. “We will not be cowed down by this. We will fight legally and politically.”
The BJP government replied, “Where is the political vendetta?,” asked Naidu. “Where is BJP in this? I am not able to understand. Do you mean to say that anybody against whom there is any charge, should not be inquired into at all?”
Naidu further claimed that the CBI was not allowed to do its duty earlier under the United Provincial Alliance government. He added that the present National Democratic Alliance government had given a free hand to the agency.
Hotel Tender Case and Benami Land Case
The CBI has alleged that there were irregularities in the tenders allotted to private company Sujata Hotels for the development and maintenance of BNR Hotels in Ranchi and Puri in 2006. BNR Hotels are the Railways’ heritage hotels, which the IRCTC took over from the BNR Transport the same year. In exchange for this favour, Yadav is believed to have received a two-acre plot in Patna, where a mall is being built at present.
Hotel tenders case against Lalu Prasad Yadav and family: CBI raid at Chanakya BNR Hotel in Ranchi pic.twitter.com/jrJJ46lJ1f
— ANI (@ANI_news) July 7, 2017
On June 20, the Income Tax department had charged Lalu Yadav, his son Tejashwi, daughter Misa Bharti and wife Rabri Devi in another land scam case under the anti-benami transactions Act. Investigators had provisionally attached a few immovable properties in connection with its inquiry into the Rs 1,000-crore benami land deal and tax evasion case in which Yadav and his family are alleged.
Former Indian railways minister Lalu Prasad Yadav has also been previously sentenced to five years in prison in a notorious case known as the “fodder scam” which involves involved pilferage of 9.5bn Indian rupees.