Former Bihar Chief Minister Rabri Devi is being questioned at her home in Patna by the CBI in connection with an alleged land-for-jobs scam.
Rabri Devi’s statement would be recorded, and it is “not a raid or search”, CBI sources said, adding that they had taken an appointment.
The questioning comes a day after eight Opposition parties shot off a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, alleging misuse of central agencies for the BJP’s political motives. Among the signatories was Rabri Devi’s son and Bihar’s Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Yadav. The letter referred to former Bihar Chief Minister and Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) patriarch Lalu Yadav among opposition leaders targeted by central agencies. It said the moves of central agencies “had often sparked suspicion that they were working as extended wings of the ruling dispensation”.
The CBI’s land-for-jobs case names Mr Yadav, Rabri Devi, and their daughters Misa and Hema, among others. An FIR registered in May 2022 accuses Mr Yadav and his family members of buying land at throwaway rates in return for jobs handed out during his tenure as Union Railway Minister from 2004 to 2009.
Besides the veteran politician, his wife and his daughters, the FIR names 12 people who allegedly got jobs in exchange for land. In July last year, Mr Yadav’s aide and former Officer on Special Duty (OSD) Bhola Yadav was arrested by the CBI in the case.
Rabri Devi is being questioned a week before the Yadavs and the other accused are to appear in a Delhi court in connection with the case.
The CBI filed a chargesheet last year under the offences of conspiracy and corruption. The FIR alleges that some people, despite being Patna residents, were appointed as substitutes in Group-D posts in railway zones of Mumbai, Jabalpur, Kolkata, Jaipur and Hajipur. In return, it is alleged, these individuals transferred ownership of their land to Mr Yadav’s family members and a company later taken over by the family.
In some cases, it is alleged, land was transferred to the Yadavs at throwaway rates. The appointments, the CBI case says, were made in violation of the guidelines laid down by the Railways.
The RJD leaders have trashed the allegations, tagging them politically motivated. Ms Devi last week said the BJP is scared of Mr Yadav. “We won’t run away. We are facing these allegations for the past 30 years. BJP is scared of Lalu Yadav in Bihar.”
The post is published through a synidicated feed and is attributed to NDTV