RJD leader Lalu Prasad on Friday dubbed the CBI raids on his family residences as a political conspiracy by the BJP and said the probe agency has no proof against him. “This is a conspiracy against me and my family… Modi is going towards dictatorship. I am not scared… I have been dealing with the CBI all my life,” Lalu Prasad said.
Rebuffing charges that he favoured Sujata Hotels through the Indian Railways Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) while he was the Railway Minister, Lalu Prasad said the allocation processes were done in a fair manner through bidding.
Lalu Pradad claimed he had improved the condition of the IRCTC, which he said was formed and made autonomous during the previous BJP-led NDA government.
The RJD leader said he has asked his family to cooperate with the CBI officials.
“This is a political conspiracy of Narendra Modi, Amit Shah and RSS against us because we have initiated a political movement against them, and they will soon see a farewell…On August 27, we are holding rallies in Bihar to tell the people how myself and my family are being attacked due to political vendetta,” Lalu Prasad told the press here.
Lalu Prasad, who was in Ranchi for hearing in a CBI court in a fodder-scam related case, said he had been dealing with the CBI for 20 years and is not scared.
“When I was told that some 25 officials of CBI had reached my house, I asked my family to cooperate with them and explained that the officials are simply following the orders of Narendra Modi,” Lalu Prasad said.
“I even asked my people to ensure that the officials are kept safe, and asked my men to provide them security otherwise some social elements might attack them and I will be accused for that,” he added.
“The raid was so secret that even the media in Delhi didn’t know about it,”
“An official of IRCTC was called to register an FIR against me,” the former Bihar Chief Minister said.
“The so-called IRCTC was formed in 1992, that time I was not the Railway Minister or a cabinet minister. In 2002, IRCTC started functioning and in 2003 hotels in Delhi, Howrah, Ranchi and Puri were handed over to IRCTC. In May 2004, I became Minister, but everything was already handed over before that. There was a NDA government and (Atal Behari) Vajpayee was the Prime Minister,” Lalu Prasad said.
“Many railway hotels were in bad shape so IRCTC in 2006 did open tendering to develop them. Everything, including income and licence fee, was fixed under an agreement for 15 years lease,” he said, adding that all the deals were done through open tender process and there is not a single accusation against him which can be proved.
He added that the raids were to insult him and to send him to jail.
“Show us the paper on the basis of which these raids were conducted. I am absolutely innocent. During my time railway got international reputation,” Lalu Prasad said.
The CBI on Friday filed a corruption case and carried out raids at the residences of RJD leader Lalu Prasad, his wife Rabri and son Tejashwi Yadav, Bihar Deputy Chief Minister, for alleged irregularities in leasing two railway hotels to a private company when he was the Railways Minister.
Scores of sleuths from the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) carried out raids on at least a dozen locations, including the residences of Lalu Prasad and his family members in Delhi, Gurugram, Patna, Ranchi and Bhubaneswar.