RJD chief Lalu Prasad on Friday blamed Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP President Amit Shah for the CBI raids at his residence following a fresh case of alleged irregularities in award of tenders for maintenance of railway hotels in 2006.
“Amit Shah aur Modi kee sheh pe CBI ne chhapemari kiya (CBI raided with the backing from Shah and Modi),” the former Railway Minister told the media here soon after his return from Ranchi.
He dubbed the Central Bureau of Investigation raids as witch-hunt and a conspiracy by the Bharatiya Janata Party, and said the allegations against him are baseless.
“The CBI raids are part of the BJP’s conspiracy to defame me and my wife and former Chief Minister Rabri Devi and my children on baseless allegations,” he added.
“I have done nothing wrong and am open to any probe,” the former Bihar Chief Minister said.
“BJP aur Modi humko nest-e-nabood karna chahti hai. Lekin suno Modi, hum phansi ke phande par latak jayenge lekin jhukenge nahi. Modi, tumhara ahankar khatam kar denge, BJP ko khatam kar denge (The BJP and Modi are trying to finish me off. But listen Modi, I will hang by a noose but will never bend. I will finish your arrogance, I will finish the BJP),” the Rashtriya Janata Dal supremo said.
He said the BJP has been trying to break the Mahagathbandhan (Grand Alliance) of the RJD, Janata Dal-United and the Congress in Bihar by saying various things.
“The alliance is intact in Bihar but some people have been cooking stories of its imminent break-up and dreaming of its end,” he said.
Lalu Prasad also denied news channel reports that the CBI teams had questioned Rabri Devi and their son Tejaswi Yadav for 10 hours.
The RJD chief denied involvement in alleged irregularities in awarding of tender for the maintenance of hotels during his stint as the Railway Minister.
“The decision to hand over the hotels to private party was taken in 2003 during the rule of BJP-led National Democratic Alliance government at the Centre, whereas I became the Railway Minister in 2004. In 2006, the award was finalised through an open tender. So, the allegations against me are baseless.”
Lalu Prasad said the case against Rabri Devi and Tejaswi was wrong.
“After over a decade, the CBI has filed a case in this matter. Rabri Devi was not a public servant at that time and Tejaswi was a minor,” the RJD leader said.
He asserted that the RJD’s proposed ‘BJP bhagao, desh bachao’ rally will be held here as scheduled on August 27.
“We will hold the rally in August against the BJP, in which lakhs of people from rural Bihar will participate,” the former Union Minister said.
The CBI registered the case against Lalu, Rabri Devi, Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Tejaswi Yadav, former Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation Managing Director PK Goyal, and Lalu Prasad’s confidant Prem Chand Gupta’s wife regarding award of the tender for development, maintenance and operation of railway hotels in Ranchi and Puri in 2006.
In the same year, the hotels were transferred to the railway corporation.
Lalu Prasad was the Railway Minister between 2004 and 2009.