Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Lalu Prasad appeared before the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Monday for questioning in connection with the central agency’s money laundering probe into the alleged land-for-jobs scam, officials said. The RJD supremo, accompanied by his daughter Misa Bharti, reached the ED office here around 11.05 am, they said.
He appeared before the central agency a day after JD(U) president and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar ditched the ‘Mahagathbandhan’, in which the RJD is the largest constituent, and the opposition bloc INDIA to form a new government in the state with the support of the BJP.
Talking to reporters before entering the ED office, Bharti said, “Whenever any agency calls our family members for questioning…, we go there, cooperate with them, and answer all their queries. Because of his health condition, it is difficult for him (Prasad) to move on his own. Someone has to accompany him whenever he goes somewhere. The questioning is still on.” Prasad’s Singapore-based daughter Rohini Achaya claimed that even after repeated requests by her sister Bharti, ED officials did not allow any assistant of the RJD chief to enter the central agency’s office and accompany him.
“Everyone knows about the health condition of my father…he can’t even walk without support. Despite that ED officials did not allow any assistant to enter their office and accompany him. It’s inhuman behaviour by ED officials…shame on you (ED officals) and your boss (top ED officials),” Acharya wrote on X in Hindi.
“If anything happens to my father, no one will be worse than me. If something happens to my father today, Chameleon (aimed at Nitish Kumar), along with the CBI and ED, will be held responsible. The lion (Lalu) is alone and not weak,” she said.
Asked about her comments on Kumar returning to the BJP-led NDA in Bihar, Bharti, who is also a Rajya Sabha MP, said, ”You better ask him (Nitish Kumar). I have nothing to say.” According to ED sources, a team of its officials from Delhi reached Patna on Sunday to question the RJD leader in connection with the alleged land-for-jobs scam.
The central agency had on January 19 issued a fresh summons for questioning Lalu and his son Tejashwi Yadav in connection with the case.
The summons notice was handed over by ED to Prasad’s wife and former Bihar chief minister Rabri Devi’s residence here. Both were asked to appear before the ED officials on January 29 and 30 respectively.