Attacking RJD chief Lalu Prasad over his alleged ‘benami’ (proxy) land deals, senior BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi on Wednesday called him the “Robert Vadra of Bihar” and questioned Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s silence over the issue. Robert Vadra is the son-in-law of Congress President Sonia Gandhi and had courted controversy in the past for his certain land deals in Haryana during the Congress rule in the state.
“Lalu Prasad is the Robert Vadra of Bihar as he knows well how to use shell companies to buy ‘benami’ properties. Now he is the biggest landlord of Bihar,” Sushil Kumar Modi told the media here.
“Lalu Prasad and his family have acquired over 125 properties in 12 years,” the former Bihar Deputy Chief Minister said, adding that about 80 per cent of these were acquired between 2004-09 when Lalu Prasad was the Railway Minister and his wife Rabri Devi was the Chief Minister between 2000-2005.
The senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader said the land transactions allegedly involving Lalu Prasad revealed that the people who got contracts or works through him transferred their land to him in return. He alleged it was Lalu Prasad’s habit to give ministerial berths in lieu of land.
“How can a son of a poor farmer acquire 125 properties without having any industry, without any contract?” the BJP leader asked.
“Apart from 125 ‘benami’ properties, there are seven shell companies through which they have made properties worth crores in Patna, Kolkata, Delhi, and Aurangabad,” Sushil Modi claimed, adding that Lalu’s family owned 18 flats in Bihar capital Patna itself.
Slamming Lalu’s eldest son Tej Pratap Yadav, the BJP leader said: “The land bought for Rs 54 lakh in Aurangabad in Tej Pratap’s name has not been declared in his election affidavit.”
The BJP leader met Chief Election Commissioner Nasim Zaidi here on Monday and submitted a memorandum on this issue. Sushil Modi questioned Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s silence on the issue and said no action against Lalu Prasad and his family has been taken despite the fact that two of the Rashtriya Janata Dal chief’s sons were holding key positions in the state Cabinet. Demanding the dismissal of Lalu’s sons from the cabinet, Sushil Modi said: “We demand that Nitish Kumar act against both the sons of Lalu Prasad and dismiss them from his Council of Ministers.”
“On one hand, Nitish says there is zero tolerance against corruption, but at the same time he is not acting against corruption cases taken up by the Income Tax officials,” the BJP leader said, adding that Nitish Kumar has kept on saying that if the Centre has any proof, then it must act.
“And when the Centre acted, they alleged it was political vendetta,Lalu Prasad is holding the rally which we have dubbed as ‘Benami Sampatti Bachao’ rally. He is holding the rally to save his benami (held by proxy) properties. Through the rally, he is trying to give out the message that it is political vendetta on part of the central government,” the BJP leader said.
Sushil Modi also dubbed the proposed ‘Desh Bachao’ rally (Save country rally) of Lalu Prasad in August as ‘Benami Sampatti Bachao’ rally (Save benami property rally).