Ahead of presidential elections, especially when Lalu Prasad Yadav expressed his support to Congress presidential candidate Meira Kumar, and Nitish Kumar too was forced to rethink his decision on supporting Ram Nath Kovind, raid on Lalu looks like pressure tactics. Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) conducted raids at 12 residential locations of Lalu including Patna, New Delhi, Ranchi, Puri and Gurgaon on corruption charges over the allotment of IRCTC hotels. CBI has also registered case against him and his wife Rabri Devi, Bihar Deputy Chief Minister and his son Tejashwi, the then IRCTC MD, P K Goyal, the wife of Yadav’s confidante Prem Chand Gupta, Sarla, and others because of irregularities in awarding the tender for maintenance of hotels.
Ex-IRCTC MD PK Goel has responded to these raids by saying that there’s nothing against him. Congress spokesperson Rajdeep Surjewala asked why BJP has been silent for last 13 years. Meanwhile, some news channels reported that bidding documents of 10 land deals have also been recovered. CBI has recovered a laptop and iPhone related to the case.
Lalu and his family should be congratulated for being the only family in politics to be a completely involved in corruption. Father, wife, sons and daughters all are under scanner.
Operation Lalu works like this:
First, he will decide which property to be grabbed. Then create a shell company and name his servants and drivers as the firm’s directors. He will give away that property in the name of tender. This shell Company will win the tender and ultimately sell the property at a throw away price. Though, there are many cases and controversies pertaining to Lalu and his family, but a question which arises here is that why BJP remained silent in all these days while as they have been in power since last three years. Why raids are conducted now ahead of elections? Anyway, such raids are not new for Lalu Prasad or his family.
Mr. Yadav was Chief Minister of Bihar from 1990 to 1997 and Minister of Railways from 2004 to 2009 under the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government. He was а Member of Parliament of 15th Lok Sabha from the Saran constituency in Bihar, but was disqualified as MP owing to conviction for his involvement in the 1996 fodder scam. His younger son Tejashwi Yadav currently serves as the 4th Deputy Chief Minister of Bihar and at 26 years, is the youngest to hold Bihar deputy chief ministership. Yadav entered politics during his student days at Patna University. He was elected as a member of the Lok Sabha in 1977 as a Janata Party candidate. At the age of 29, he was one of its youngest members of Parliament. Yadav became Chief Minister of Bihar in 1990 but resigned in 1997 following escalating corruption charges relating to the Fodder Scam. From 1997 to 2005, with brief interruptions, his wife Rabri Devi served as the Chief Minister. Her political opponents often accused her as having served as his surrogate. His tenure as Chief Minister of the state has been criticized for lawlessness and has been termed as Jungle Raj. But people of the state always elected him on various occasions. He is popular amongst local residents of Bihar.
Many accusations have been made about him citing him as an encourager of criminality and ‘Gunda Raj’ in Bihar. He is known as a crowd puller, smart and colourful politician but has been criticized for promoting and encouraging caste-based politics and there are several corruption cases filed against him. On 3 October 2013, he was sentenced to five years of rigorous imprisonment and ₹25 lakh fine for his role in the Fodder Scam by CBI court.
In 1996, Yadav was accused in the “Fodder Scam” in which about Rs.4.50 billion (US $111.85 million) were siphoned off from the animal husbandry department, albeit the probe itself was ordered by him. Several reports of alleged embezzlement of money withdrawn from animal husbandry department were tabled from 1990–95. In January 1996, a raid conducted on Chaibasa treasury indicated the siphoning off of funds by non-existent companies. Yadav then ordered an inquiry to probe the alleged irregularities. However, after a public interest litigation, the Bihar High Court in March 1996 ordered the case to be handed over to the CBI.
In June 1997, CBI filed the charge sheet in the case and made Yadav an accused. The fodder scam forced Yadav to resign from the office of Chief Minister and he appointed his wife, Rabri Devi, his successor as the state’s Chief Minister. In 2001, Supreme Court transferred the scam cases to newly formed Jharkhand and trial began in a special court in Ranchi in 2002. In August 2013, Yadav tried to get the trial court judge transferred, but Supreme Court of India rejected his plea. Yadav has been an accused in many of the 53-odd cases filed. He has been remanded to custody on multiple occasions because of the number of cases. Over 64 people were convicted in the case.
Lalu Prasad Yadav, along with 44 other accused, was convicted on 30 September 2013, by Central Bureau of Investigation court at Ranchi. Several other politicians, IAS officers were also convicted in the case. Immediately after the verdict was pronounced, Lalu Prasad Yadav was arrested and taken to Birsa Munda Central Jail, located at Ranchi.
He was released on bail, after he completed the bail formalities in a Special CBI court, two-and-a-half months after he was convicted in a fodder scam case.
Lalu Prasad Yadav is one of the first noted politicians to lose parliamentary seat on being arrested in fodder scam as per Supreme Court decision banning convicted legislators to hold their posts. Despite several ongoing corruption cases against him, he and his wife Rabri Devi ruled Bihar state for 15 years, a period during which every economic and social rankings of the state went to lowest level when compared to other states of India. During his tenure as Chief Minister, Bihar’s law and order was at lowest, kidnapping was on rise and private armies mushroomed.
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