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Land for jobs scam: Lalu Prasad questioned by the CBI for nearly two hours

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The CBI on Tuesday questioned former railway minister Lalu Prasad for nearly two hours in connection with the land for jobs scam case where people were allegedly given employment in the railways in return for land parcels gifted or sold at cheap rates to the Yadav family and its associates, officials said.

The examination of the RJD supremo comes a day after his wife and former Bihar chief minister Rabri Devi was quizzed at her Patna residence by the agency for nearly five hours.

The entire exercise was videographed during which Prasad was confronted with some documents in a special room where he is quarantined post his kidney transplant surgery, the officials said.

According to the officials, a team of five CBI officials arrived in two cars around 10.40 am and at the residence of Misha Bharti in Pandara Park near India Gate on Tuesday where Prasad is currently residing, and it left around 12.55 pm.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has already filed a chargesheet in the case against Prasad, Rabri Devi and 14 others under charges of criminal conspiracy and provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act, and all the accused have been summoned on March 15, they said.

The officials said a fresh round of questioning is taking place as part of “further investigation” where the agency is trying to ascertain the money trail and larger conspiracy.

The fresh questioning of ailing Prasad, who was convicted in a fodder scam, and his wife had evoked sharp criticism from opposition parties on Monday.

Prasad’s son and Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Yadav has termed the CBI action a result of his family’s “relentless opposition” to the BJP.

“It is an open secret that probe agencies are acting against political opponents of the BJP and helping those who agree to align with that party,” the RJD leader told reporters outside the Bihar assembly on Monday.

Yadav said as railway minister, Prasad, had “no powers” to give employment in exchange for favours. He got support from the Congress and the AAP which targeted the central government alleging that the saffron party wanted to “suppress” the voice of the opposition.

“Today Rabri Devi ji is being harassed. Lalu Prasad ji and his family have been harassed for years because they did not bow down,” Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra tweeted.

AAP convenor and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said targeting and harassing opposition leaders is wrong. The CBI had recently arrested the then Delhi deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia in the excise policy scam case.


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