Bihar Deputy Chief Minister and Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader Tejashwi Yadav on Saturday skipped the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) summons in connection with the alleged land-for-job scam case because his wife is unwell. His wife has been admitted to a private hospital in the national capital.
Meanwhile, the RJD supremo fumed at the actions of the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in connection with the case.
The development comes a day after the Enforcement Directorate (ED) carried out searches at over 24 locations in Bihar, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, and Delhi-NCR including the premises of Tejashwi, his sisters Hema, Ragini, and Chanda.
The ED carried out searches at Tejashwi at his residence in Delhi’s upscale New Friends Colony where his wife was also present.
The ED team carried out search operations for over 14 hours and recovered Rs 52 lakh cash, gold jewelry weighing around 1.5 kg, and some foreign currencies from the premises of Tejashwi, sources said.
Even the residence in New Friends Colony, where Tejashwi was staying with his wife is the registered address of a “beneficiary” company AK Infosystems, which is one of the accused in the case being investigated by the ED and the CBI.
Even a team of CBI officials went to his residence, but the RJD leader was not present at his home, the source said.
The source said that the CBI will once again issue fresh summons to the Deputy Chief Minister.
CBI had summoned Tejashwi Yadav today, March 11 in connection with the land-for-job case. This is the second summon issued to him, the first being issued on February 4.
Tejashwi is the third person of the Yadav family who will be questioned in the case. Earlier, his parents (Rabri and Lalu Yadav) were questioned.
On March 7, Lalu Yadav was grilled by CBI for nearly six years in two sessions at his residence in Pandara Park in Delhi.
Following the ED searches at Tejashwi and his sister’s residence in Delhi, former Railway Minister and RJD supremo Lalu Prasad Yadav slammed the BJP.
Lalu, who is also the father of Tejashwi and a former Bihar Chief Minister and is being investigated in a land-for-job scam by ED, cited ‘Emergency’ to slam BJP.
“We have seen the dark phase of Emergency. We fought that battle too. Today pregnant daughter-in-law has been kept sitting for 15 hours by the ED in baseless vindictive case,” he said in a tweet in Hindi.
He declared that his ideological fight against the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) will continue and none of his family members would bow down before BJP’s politics.
“My ideological fight against BJP has always been and will continue. I have never bowed before them and no one from my family and party will go down before their politics,” he said in another tweet.
Even RJD Rajya Sabha member Manoj K Jha slammed the BJP and said that the 14-hour-long ED searches is nothing but a “desperate anger of losing power in August last year in Bihar”.
He further said that the blood pressure of Tejashwi’s wife shot up during the searches as she is pregnant.
He also said that human sensitivity has died.
Taking a jibe at the ED director SK Mishra, Jha said that the man who has been given an extension promised to do their job.
Today we are the victim of these political (agencies) instruments. Instead of going behind the opposition leaders in break arrest all in one go and getting the stamp of the legitimacy of dictatorship, Jha said.
The RJD leader also said that there is anger in Bihar but Lalu Prasad and Tejashwi Yadav have stopped their workers and urged them to follow the law. Don’t use these agencies for political fights.
The ED searches at several premises of Lalu’s family also prompted Congress chief Mallikarjun Kharge to lend support to the Yadav family members.
“For the last 14 hours, Modi ji has kept ED sitting at the house of the Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi of Bihar. His pregnant wife and sisters are being harassed. Lalu Prasad is old, he is ill, even then the Modi government did not show humanity towards him. Now the water has gone over the head,” Kharge tweeted.
A Delhi court has also summoned Lalu Prasad, the former Railway Minister, his wife, and several others in connection with the case on March 15.
Lalu Prasad had gone to Singapore for a kidney transplant last year in December and returned to India in the third week of February. His daughter Rohini Acharya has donated her kidney to Lalu Prasad, who is also a former Bihar Chief Minister.
He is currently out on bail in a fodder scam case.
The government had recently given its nod to prosecute Lalu in connection with the land for job scam case earlier this year.
In October last year, the CBI filed a chargesheet against Lalu, Rabri Devi, and Misa Bharti in connection with the land for job scam case.
The agency has also named 13 more people in its charge sheet.
According to CBI sources, during the investigation carried out so far and during the agency searches in August last year, the CBI recovered over 200 sale deeds.
The source said that many candidates would have given their land to get jobs
The source claimed that CBI’s initial investigation showed the identification of 12 such candidates who got jobs when Lalu Prasad Yadav was Railway Minister between 2004 to 2009.
The source further said that its probe so far revealed that Bhola Yadav, then OSD of Lalu Prasad Yadav was persuading the engagement of various substitute candidates in Group D with the concerned railway authorities.
Bhola Yadav was arrested last year by the CBI.
The source said that Bhola Yadav was instrumental in the finalization and execution of land deals relevant to the case.
The source said that during the probe it was also revealed that Bhola Yadav was collecting applications from various candidates for engagement as substitutes in Group D at Camp Office Of Minister Of Railway Residence Lalu Yadav and Rabri Yadav at 10 Circular Road in Patna.
The source further stated that during police custody of Bhola Yadav, certain critical documents been recovered which are crucial for the investigation.
The named candidates though residents of Patna during the period 2004-09 were appointed as substitutes in different zones of Railway Mumbai, Jabalpur, Kolkata, Jaipur, and Hajipur, and in lieu of that their family members transferred their land in the name of family members of Lalu Prasad Yadav and a company AK Infosystem.
Subsequently, AK Infosystem was taken over by family members of Lalu Prasad Yadav, the source said.
Thereof 1,05,292 square feet of land in Patna was acquired by family members of Lalu Prasad Yadav through two gift deeds and fove sale deeds
“In most of sale deeds seller was mentioned to have paid in cash,” the source added.
CBI had registered a fresh case against Lalu Prasad, his wife Rabri Devi, Misa Bharti, his other daughter Hema Yadav and others in May this year.
The CBI had also carried out searches at multiple locations in Delhi, Patna, Gopalganj, Gurugram, and others in connection with the case in May last year after registering a fresh case.