Patna (News Trust of India) ; The political scene witnessed a big shift today as Lalu Prasad Yadav, the erstwhile Railway Minister, made his presence known at the Enforcement Directorate (ED) office. The clock struck 11 am when Lalu, accompanied by his daughter Misa Bharti, arrived at the ED headquarters to address inquiries connected to the suspected land-for-job fraud.
A sizeable presence of enthusiastic supporters from the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) gathered in solidarity outside both the ED office and the apartment of Rabri, Lalu’s wife. The ED had already summoned Lalu Prasad Yadav and his son, Tejashwi Yadav, who, however, remained conspicuous by their absence. In a twist of fate, Lalu himself took the stand before the ED, while Tejashwi is apparently wavering on his scheduled presence.
Adding a touch of familial concern, Misa Bharti, armed with sustenance and medications, made her way to the ED office, presenting home-cooked meals to her unwell father. Lalu Yadav’s health, apparently on precarious grounds, inspired this display of filial care.
Misa Bharti, daughter and spokesperson for Lalu Yadav, dismissed the ED summons as normal, adding, “There is nothing new in this. When they feel that they should issue summons to Lalu ji, they send it.” She further implied a political undertone, claiming, “As many people who are in the opposition, who are not with him, this greeting card is being sent to those who are not coming with him.”
RJD leader Ranvijay Sahu, in a vigorous defense of Lalu Prasad Yadav, denounced the alleged harassment of leaders championing social justice. He ominously said, “The country is angry, the answer will come through elections.”
Responding to the ED’s summons, Bihar Deputy CM Samrat Chaudhary castigated Lalu, citing the fodder scam during his stint as Chief Minister. Accusing him of wrongdoing, Chaudhary urged Tejashwi Yadav to explicate how he gained fortune within a short time. Expressing support, he added, “We are standing with them.”
The backdrop of this ED inquiry is the claimed “land-for-jobs” controversy during Lalu Yadav’s time as the railway minister from 2004 to 2009. Allegations claim that he procured land and flats in exchange for job placements. Notably, the accused in this case extend beyond Lalu to include Rabri Devi, Tejashwi Yadav, and Misa Bharti.
Delving into the ED’s evidence, it alleges that between 2004 and 2009, Lalu Yadav made questionable nominations to Group D posts inside several railway zones. The charge sheet further accuses him of transferring land to family members and AK Infosystems Private Limited in exchange for employment chances. The convoluted network of accusations and counter-accusations promises a protracted court battle ahead.
As the political drama unfolds in the corridors of power, the consequences of these claims on Bihar’s political landscape loom large, awaiting resolution through legal proceedings and, ultimately, the voting box.