Patna: Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi fired a fresh salvo at RJD chief Lalu Prasad and his family for reportedly acquiring a property worth over Rs 3 crore in a posh locality of the state capital through a shell company. Addressing a press conference here, the minister produced a number of documents and claimed that the BJP had in June last highlighted the alleged purchase of a prime property by Prasad, his younger son and heir apparent Tejashwi Yadav and other members of their family through ‘Fairgrow Pvt Ltd’, though it was not clear then as to where the fixed asset was located.
“The Income Tax department has recently attached a two-storied house, close to the international airport here, built on an area of 7,105 square feet (owned in the name of the aforementioned company). The dots can now be joined and inference drawn that this is the same property which we had spoken about a year ago,” Modi said.
The senior BJP leader alleged that documents related to the company’s registration showed that its address, names and whereabouts of 20 shareholders were “fake”, making Fairgrow the “sixth such company with which the RJD supremo’s family has been associated”.
Modi also distributed copies of the documents, wherein Tejashwi, his elder brother Tej Pratap Yadav and sister Ragini have been shown as directors of the company, and asked them to explain “how they came to be on the Board of Directors of a corporate entity without possessing any qualifications and experience”.
“People close to the family have been coming up with the ruse that Prasad”s children had ceased to be on the Board of Directors before Fairgrow’s shady deals came under the scanner,” the minister said.
“All the documents show glaring incongruities. In one of the documents, Ragini’s address has been shown as 1, Anney Marg, which is the chief minister’s official residence. Her mother Rabri Devi served as chief minister till 2005, while the document states the chief minister’s residence as her (Ragini) address in 2014,” Modi, who also holds the finance portfolio, pointed out.
Training his guns at Tejashwi Yadav, the leader of the opposition in the state Assembly, Modi said, “He owes an answer to the people of Bihar on many counts. He should reveal as to how this company came to own such prime property. Who gave the money and when the property was purchased.”
“The property is located adjacent to a sprawling house belonging to R K Rana, a close confidant of Lalu Prasad. Rana is serving sentence in a number of fodder scam cases like the RJD supremo. Tejashwi owes an answer on that count as well,” the Bihar deputy CM said.
Incidentally, lodging of cases relating to benami land transactions against Tejashwi Yadav, former deputy CM, by the Enforcement Directorate and Income Tax department had triggered a political upheaval in the state in July last year when Nitish Kumar walked out of the Grand Alliance (comprising his JD(U), RJD and the Congress) and returned to the BJP-led NDA.
Reacting to the charges levelled by Modi, Tejashwi accused the family members of the deputy chief minister of financial wrong doings. He also challenged the deputy chief minister for “an open debate, at a place and time of his choice”.
In a statement issued here, Yadav called Modi ‘Khulasa Miyan’ – an obvious dig at the string of disclosures made by the Bihar deputy CM against the RJD supremo’s family. “Your party is in power both in the state as well as at the Centre. Why do you indulge in such media gimmicks instead of insisting on a thorough investigation?”
“Sushil Modi should explain to the people of Bihar how his brother has become a billionaire real estate developer despite coming from a modest background. He should also speak about his sister’s role in the multi-crore Srijan scam which is being investigated by the CBI,” Yadav alleged.