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Post-raid, RJD takes ‘parrot’ swipe at CBI

Soon after the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) raided 16 locations of Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad on Friday in connection with the “land-for-job” scam, the RJD called the CBI a “parrot”, while the ruling BJP termed Mr. Prasad and his family a “symbol of corruption in Bihar”.

RJD workers and supporters staged a protest against the CBI outside the 10, Circular Road residence of Rabri Devi, wife of Mr. Prasad, where a team of the investigating agency reached early on Friday. Massive police deployment was seen at the place. The CBI also conducted raids at Danapur (near Patna), Gopalganj, Mahua in Vaishali and other places in connection with the case.

“They [CBI] are parrots”, tweeted the RJD after the CBI raid. The party was alluding to a 2013 remark by the Supreme Court that the CBI was acting like a “caged parrot”. 

Another tweet of the party said, “Countless raids have been conducted in the so-called railway scam and nothing was found. Today, even after 13 years, if the CBI has to raid, then one can guess what a poor agency it is. Lalu family is not one to bow down and be afraid”. Another party tweet said: “Laluji gave a profit of ₹90,000 crores to the Railways… Laluji recruited lakhs of youth in the Railways and made the porters’ job permanent…but Laluji is being raided after 15 years. And, that Sangh (Rashtriya Swamsevak Sangh) and Modi-Shah (Amit Shah) who sold Railways, stations, gulped 72,000 posts have become honest”.

In a video message, party leader and Rajya Sabha member Manoj Jha said the BJP would have to pay a “heavy price” for the raid. “You [BJP] resort to such intimidating exercise, which is very predictable, whenever there is mobilisation against you. But neither the people of Bihar, nor Mr. Prasad, Rabri Devi or Tejashwi Yadav will be cowed down by such raids. You’ve to pay heavy price for this”, said Mr. Jha in his video message.

Senior RJD leader Shivanand Tiwari asked: “Are the CBI raids a warning to Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar because of his growing proximity to the RJD leader and younger son of Mr. Prasad, Tejashwi Yadav? It might have made the BJP uncomfortable. At least the timing of the raids indicates so”.

Similarly, party leader Alok Mehta said, “This [CBI raid] is an attempt to finish off the Opposition. There is an attempt to silence the Opposition’s voice.”

However, senior State BJP leader and party’s Rajya Sabha MP Sushil Kumar Modi called Mr. Prasad and his family a “symbol of corruption in Bihar”. “The modus operandi (of Mr. Prasad when he was the Railway Minister) was that you give me land and in return I’ll give a Group D job in railways. Here the land was first granted in the name of someone else and after 5-6 months, it was gifted to Mr. Prasad and his family (by the job seeker)”, Mr. Modi alleged. Displaying a book titled Lalu Leela which was written in 2018, Mr. Modi further alleged that Mr. Prasad had 141 plots of land and 30 flats, besides half-a-dozen houses. “We had uncovered more than a dozen cases and I’m very happy that the CBI has got the evidence for the case whose preliminary enquiry (PE) was registered on September 23, 2021. After registering the PE, when CBI got further evidence and related documents, and I guess, the raid started,” he added.

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Printable version | Jun 10, 2022 11:28:14 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/post-raid-rjd-takes-parrot-swipe-at-cbi/article65439427.ece