Whether it was the row over support to the presidential candidate or the income tax department's raids to probe alleged benami deals, the once strong Mahagathbandhan was hardly ever stable.
And now that Lalu Prasad has lost the support of Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar, the voices and possibly action against him are going to grow stronger, adding to an already high number of troubles.
Even though Kumar had been either silent or vague in his answers whenever questioned about the corruption charges against Lalu and family because of the Mahagathbandhan, he will now have no qualms about directly speaking against him.
This will make life tougher for Lalu and his family. Now that Kumar is back in the NDA and son Tejashwi is no longer deputy chief minister, Lalu will not get political protection or even words of support from the Bihar government.
Earlier on 7 July, CBI had conducted raids across four cities in a corruption case in which Lalu's wife Rabri Devi and son Tejashwi are among the accused.
The case relates to alleged manipulation in award of contract for maintenance of two hotels run by a subsidiary of the Indian Railways — IRCTC — when the RJD chief was railway minister in the UPA government.
The searches, which started at 7 am on that day and included Rabri Devi's Circular Road residence in Patna, were spread across 12 locations in Patna, Ranchi, Gurgaon and Bhubaneswar. The raids included the premises of the Yadav family as well as those of his confidante Prem Chand Gupta, a former Union minister, whose wife Sarla Gupta is listed as an accused in the FIR.
The fresh case against Lalu came barely two months after the Supreme Court restored the criminal conspiracy charge against him in the fodder scam and ordered separate trial in all the four cases against him.
The apex court, while setting aside the 2014 order which had stayed the trial against Yadav after conviction in one of the cases, said the Jharkhand High Court should have been consistent in its findings and not have given different views for different sets of accused in a case.
It also pulled up the CBI for the delay in filing an appeal against the high court order in the case and said the probe agency's director should have looked into this important matter and deputed an officer to pursue the case.
The CBI had challenged the 2014 order of the Jharkhand High Court quashing four pending fodder scam cases against him on the grounds that a person convicted in one case could not be tried in similar cases based on same witnesses and evidence.
Moreover, the Enforcement Directorate had also issued summons to Lalu's daughter and RJD MP Misa Bharti after it recently conducted raids against her and her husband in connection with a Rs8,000 crore money laundering case. Three farmhouses of Bharti, her husband and one registered in the name of Mishail Printers and Packers Private Limited were searched by the ED.
With the high number of allegations against him and his family members and the exit of Kumar from the Grand Alliance, the days ahead are probably going to get tough for Lalu Prasad.
With inputs from PTI
Published Date: Jul 27, 2017 08:09 pm | Updated Date: Jul 27, 2017 08:09 pm