Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad Yadav on Friday denied his involvement in the corruption case pitted against him and his family members, and accused the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the ruling party at the Centre, of influencing the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to conduct raids against him.
"It was not just me but also my family, my wife and kids who were targeted," RJD chief said, addressing the media in Patna, according to News18.
— News18 (@CNNnews18) July 7, 2017
The CBI on Friday carried out searches in 12 locations in Patna, Ranchi, Bhubaneswar and Gurugram after registering a corruption case against Prasad and his family members, including Tejashwi Yadav, the deputy chief minister of Bihar, in a case of criminal conspiracy, cheating and corruption.
The investigation agency has registered a case against Yadav, his wife Rabri Devi, his son Tejashwi, former IRCTC MD, PK Goyal, Sarla Gupta who is the wife of Yadav's confidante Prem Chand Gupta, among others. Yadav claimed that he had no involvement in any corruption cases booked against him.
"This is a BJP conspiracy. The raid is a witch hunt. There is no illegality. I have done nothing wrong. I am open to any probe by the CBI," said Prasad, who appeared before the special CBI court on Friday in two 'old' fodder scam cases.
The CBI alleged that between 2004 and 2014, a conspiracy was hatched in pursuance of which BNR hotels of Indian Railways at Puri and Ranchi were first transferred to the IRCTC and later on for its operations, maintenance and upkeep, it was given on lease to a Patna-based private firm.
Defending himself in the matter, Yadav denied any link between the sale of land in Patna and giving two IRCTC hotels at Ranchi and Puri on lease.
"The land of the Kochhars (Vijay and Vinay Kochhar directors of Sujata Hotels and owner of Chanakya Hotel, Delight marketing company) was registered in Patna in 2004, while the open tender of the two IRCTC hotels were given in 2006. So what is the linkage?" he questioned.
"The decision to allot the two hotels was taken during NDA rule itself before I became Rail minister in 2004 in UPA I. The lease of the two hotels was given to the highest bidder for 15 years at a licence fee of Rs 1.15 crore and there was no violation of any rules," he said.
During the press conference, Tejashwi shouted at a reporter of a newly-launched English news channel for coming to the event when they are boycotting it.
He also called the channel "anti-national" but was quietened by Prasad who was heard telling his son "Why are you making news for them?".
"No wrong was done in the tendering. IRCTC was formed in 1999, it started functioning in 2002 when NDA was ruling. The hotels of railway in Delhi, Ranchi, Puri and Howrah were handed over to IRCTC in 2003," the RJD supremo said.
Asked about impact of the raids on the future of the alliance government headed by Nitish Kumar in Bihar, the RJD chief said the "Grand Alliance is intact ... What has the coalition to do with the raids."
"Listen (Narendra) Modi and Amit Shah. I will die in the process of exposing you, but will ensure to destroy your arrogance and support. (Suno Modi, Amit Shah, faasi ke fande par latak jaayenge lekin tumhara ahankaar, buniyaad choor-choor kar denge)," he added, as reported by ANI.
With inputs from PTI
Published Date: Jul 07, 2017 21:23 PM | Updated Date: Jul 07, 2017 23:06 PM