Former Bihar Chief Minister and Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) supremo, Lalu Prasad Yadav, faced questioning at the Enforcement Directorate office in Patna on Monday concerning the land-for-jobs case.
The seasoned politician, accompanied by his daughter Misha Bharti, who is also implicated in the case, arrived at the central agency’s office amidst a considerable gathering of RJD supporters.
The situation outside the Enforcement Directorate office was tense, with a large number of RJD workers staging protests against the central government’s actions.
A team of Enforcement Directorate officials from Delhi had arrived in Patna the previous evening to conduct the interrogation. The agency had issued fresh summons to Lalu Yadav and his son Tejashwi Yadav on January 19, physically delivering the notice at Rabri Devi’s residence. The summons required both RJD leaders to appear before the agency on January 29 and 30.
In a related development, a Delhi court summoned Rabri Devi, Hema Yadav, and others to appear on February 9 in connection with the same case. Alongside Lalu Yadav, Rabri Devi and Misa are among the accused, with the CBI also investigating the matter.
The RJD leadership criticized the Enforcement Directorate’s actions, alleging political motivations behind the summons. RJD MP Manoj Jha stated, “This is not an ED summon, but a BJP summon… This will go on till 2024. Till then please do not call it ED summons… Why should we be scared?”
Responding to these allegations, Deputy Chief Minister of Bihar, Samrat Choudhary, accused Lalu Yadav of corruption, emphasizing that the former Chief Minister was involved in corrupt practices.
The land-for-jobs case revolves around allegations that, during Lalu Yadav’s tenure as Union Railway Minister from 2004 to 2009, he and his family members received pecuniary benefits by transferring land in their names. In exchange, they allegedly appointed individuals to ‘substitute’ Group D posts in various railway zones.
During arguments in a Delhi court, the Enforcement Directorate emphasized that Lalu Yadav and his family held control over the alleged corruption, asserting that the “string was in the hands of the main accused in the CBI offence, Lalu Yadav and his family.”