The home of Deputy Chief Minister of Bihar Tejashwi Yadav in Delhi is being searched in connection with the land-for-work case, days after the CBI questioned his parents, former Bihar chief ministers Lalu Prasad Yadav and Rabri Devi, on consecutive days. The Enforcement Directorate is conducting searches at more than 15 locations in an alleged money laundering case involving Lalu Prasad Yadav and his relatives. The searches also cover the premises associated with Mr Yadav’s daughters, Ragini Yadav, Chanda Yadav and Hema Yadav, and former RJD MLA Abu Dojana in Patna, Phulwari Sharif, Delhi-NCR, Ranchi and Mumbai.
The CBI had questioned former Union Minister of Railways Lalu Yadav for five hours on March 7 in Delhi at the Pandara Road home of his daughter Misa Bharti, where he is currently residing following his kidney transplant. A day earlier, the investigative agency had interviewed Rabri Devi at her residence in Patna.
The CBI case, which includes the names of the Yadav couple and their daughters Misa and Hema, is based on allegations that Mr Yadav and his relatives bought land at cheap rates in exchange for jobs during his tenure as the Minister of Railways of the Union from 2004 to 2009. .
In addition to the veteran politician, his wife and his daughters, the FIR, registered in May 2022, lists 12 people who were allegedly given jobs in exchange for land. In July last year, Mr. Yadav’s aide and former Officer on Special Duty (OSD) Bhola Yadav was arrested by the CBI in the case.
The CBI filed suit against 16 people on charges of criminal conspiracy and provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act. They will all be summoned by a court on March 15.
The raids come at a time when opposition parties have accused the Center of abusing central agencies to settle political scores.
Eight opposition parties had written a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi last week, alleging abuse of central agencies for the BJP’s political motives. Tejashwi Yadav was also among the signatories. The letter referred to Lalu Yadav among opposition leaders targeted by central agencies. It said central agency movements had “often aroused suspicion that they operated as extended wings of the ruling dispensation”.