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Bihar: Ahead of Nitish Kumar's Floor Test, CBI Searches Premises of RJD Leaders

‘Be it ED or CBI, all such raids are carried out to benefit BJP," said RJD’s MP Manoj Jha. The searches pertain to an alleged land-for-jobs scam when Lalu Prasad was Rail Minister.
Nitish Kumar

Nitish Kumar and Tejasvi Yadav taking oath as Bihar Chief Minister and Deputy Chief Minister, respectively. | Image Courtesy: Twitter/@mkstalin

New Delhi/Patna: The CBI on Wednesday morning started a search operation at the premises of several Rashtriya Janata Dal leaders in Bihar in connection with the alleged land-for-jobs scam that took place when Lalu Prasad was the Railway Minister, officials said.

The search operation comes on a day when Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, who parted ways with the Bharatiya Janata Party to ally with the RJD, is set to face a trust vote in the state Assembly.

The search operation is being carried out at the premises of several senior leaders of the RJD, including MLC Sunil Singh, Rajya Sabha MPs Ashfaq Karim and Faiyaz Ahmed, and former MLC Subodh Rai, officials said. 

Sunil Singh, known to be close to Prasad, yelled from the balcony of his apartment "this is 100% intentional. These people have entered my house without even informing the local police. They are asking me to sign a document".

Singh's wife screamed "my husband is being victimised because of his loyalties. The CBI will get nothing from our place. I will sue the agency for defamation".

The CBI has named the RJD supremo, his wife Rabri Devi, and daughters Misa Bharti and Hema Yadav, in addition to 12 people who were given jobs in Railway zones of Mumbai, Jabalpur, Kolkata, Jaipur, Hajipur in 2008-09 in the case, officials said.

The central agency had registered a preliminary enquiry on September 23, 2021 related to the land-for-jobs scam in Railways.

The candidates were allegedly appointed as substitutes in group D positions within three days of applying in "undue haste" by Railway officials and were later regularised "in lieu thereof the individuals themselves or their family members transferred their land," according to the agency.

The transfers were allegedly made through three sale deeds in the name of Rabri Devi and one in the name of Misa Bharti and two gift deeds in the name of Hema Yadav, the agency alleged.

The 'Mahagathbandhan', which comprises Bihar chief minister's JD(U), besides RJD, Congress, CPI(ML), CPI and CPI(M), has a combined strength of more than 160 in the 243-strong House.

RJD spokesman Shakti Singh Yadav said, "I am hardly surprised. I had, in a tweet last night itself, had spoken of ED, CBI and IT planning their next operation in Bihar."

"Be it ED or CBI, all such raids are carried out to benefit the BJP," alleged RJD Rajya Sabha MP Manoj Jha.

Congress spokesperson Asit Nath Tiwari said that with a change of guard, these officials may end up being probed by the very agencies in which they are holding posts.

"Officials of these agencies should remember that neither Hitler nor Mussolini lasted in power forever," he said.

JD(U) chief spokesman and MLC Neeraj Kumar also deplored the raids as "a dangerous game of shakti parikshan (test of strength) by the central government in Bihar through CBI and ED".

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