Days after the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) reopened a corruption case against Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) Chief Lalu Yadav, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar took a veiled dig at the BJP-ruled central government.
Nitish Kumar, who parted ways with the BJP earlier this year and tied up with the RJD, today alleged that the corruption case was reopened because his party has formed government in Bihar with Mr Yadav’s party.
“Samajh lijiye na Kya ho raha hai. Hum log ab sath aa gaye hain isliye ho raha hai. (See, what’s happening. This happened because we (RJD and JDU are together again),” Mr Kumar said.
The CBI had in 2018 started its investigation into the allegations of corruption in the allotment of two Railway projects when Lalu Yadav held the portfolio in the UPA-1 government.
The central probe agency closed the inquiry in 2021 saying there were no strong grounds to register a First Information Report or FIR.
Apart from Mr Yadav, his son and Bihar’s Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Yadav, and daughters Chanda Yadav and Ragini Yadav are among those named in the case.
Calling it a political vendetta, Tejashwi Yadav on Monday said it was an attempt to target his family.
“They have investigated it once. Found nothing. Now they have reopened it. I just want to say that our lives are like an open book. And I have already told the CBI that if they want to open an office at our home, they can,” said the state’s Deputy Chief Minister.
The case alleges that Mr Yadav received a south Delhi property as bribe from real estate major DLF Group, which was interested in rail land lease projects in Mumbai’s Bandra and the revamp of the New Delhi Railway Station.
It is alleged that the property was bought by a DLF-funded shell company at Rs 5 crore — much lower than the then market rate of Rs 30 crore. The shell company was then bought by Tejashwi Yadav and other relatives of Mr Yadav for a mere Rs 4 lakh by a transfer of shares, giving them ownership of the south Delhi bungalow, the case alleges.