Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Yadav on Friday said his mother Rabri Devi’s questioning by the Enforcement Directorate in the land-for-jobs case was linked to political shifts in the country, particularly next year’s election in the state and the BJP’s defeat in Karnataka last week.
“We knew this would happen. They are targeting us because they are afraid of Bihar after Karnataka. They may implicate me in the case in the future. I don’t care. The innocent and I have nothing to fear,” he said.
Former Bihar Chief Minister Rabri Devi was questioned for about five hours in Delhi by the central agency which investigates financial crimes on Thursday in a money laundering case linked to the alleged land-for-jobs scam.
Sources in the agency said the statement of 68-year-old Rabri Devi, wife of Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Lalu Yadav, was recorded under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), news agency PTI reported.
Rabri Devi’s children, including Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Yadav, daughters Misa Bharti (RJD MP in Rajya Sabha), Chanda Yadav and Ragini Yadav, have also been questioned by the agency in the case over the last few months.
The agency had claimed that it had seized “unaccounted cash” of Rs 1 crore and detected proceeds of crime worth Rs 600 crore during searches in the case in March this year.
The alleged scam relates to Lalu Yadav’s tenure as railway minister in the early 2000s, and the money laundering case stems from an FIR of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
It is alleged by the agencies that between 2004 and 2009, many were appointed to junior positions in various zones of the Indian Railways, and in return, they transferred their land to Mr Yadav’s family members.
It is alleged by the CBI in its complaint that no advertisement or public notice was issued for the appointment, but some residents of Patna were appointed to different zonal railways located at Mumbai, Jabalpur, Kolkata, Jaipur and Hazipur.
As a quid pro quo, the candidates, directly or through their immediate family members, allegedly sold land to the family members of Mr Yadav at highly discounted rates, up to one-fourth to one-fifth of the prevailing market rates, the CBI had alleged.
Tejashwi Yadav has denied these allegations in the past, saying that his father had “no powers” to give employment in exchange for favours.