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Ahead of No-confidence Motion, JD(U) Targets BJP for Not Acting Against Lalu in IRCTC Scam

JD(U) on Thursday questioned the intent of Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) as Piyush Goyal-led Railway Ministry is yet to give prosecution sanction against one of the accused in 2015 IRCTC hotel-for-land scam even as 90 days have passed since the CBI filed a chargesheet in the matter.

Alok Kumar | CNN-News18dmalok

Updated:July 19, 2018, 1:39 PM IST
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File photo of Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar. (PTI)
File photo of Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar. (PTI)

Patna: A day ahead of no-confidence motion, the rift between allies BJP and JD(U) continues. The disgruntled leaders of Nitish Kumar’s party on Thursday hit out at the Centre for ignoring the “very basis” of his return to NDA and alleged that BJP is opting for a “match-fixing with Lalu Yadav’s RJD”.

JD(U) questioned the intent of Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) as Piyush Goyal-led Railway Ministry is yet to give prosecution sanction against one of the accused in 2015 IRCTC hotel-for-land scam even as 90 days have passed since the CBI filed a chargesheet in the matter.

The accused had allegedly helped RJD chief Lalu Prasad, his wife and former CM Rabri Devi and their son and Leader of Opposition in Assembly Tejashwi Prasad Yadav, who are the prime accused in the scam.

It has now come to light that JD(U) national president Nitish Kumar has taken the matter seriously and asked all party spokesmen to convey his dismay.

“Our party has taken it seriously as even after 90 days of filing of chargesheet by the CBI, the railway ministry has not granted permission to prosecute one of its officers who was made accused along with Lalu Yadav and others. Such a delay is bound to raise questions,” JD(U) spokesman Rajiv Ranjan Prasad told News18.

Earlier, after Nitish Kumar-Amit Shah meeting in Patna, both camps had signaled that there were no differences between the coalition partners. However, JD(U)'s stance on the issue ahead of no-confidence motion has triggered fresh round of speculations regarding the tussle between both allies.

JD(U) chief spokesperson Sanjay Singh, in fact, told a national daily that there seems to be match-fixing between BJP and RJD over delay in prosecution sanction.

Refusing to clarify on JD(U)’s allegations, senior BJP leader and deputy chief minister Sushil Modi said that CBI was an autonomous body and his party had nothing do to with its functioning.

“Whatever questions are being raised have to be answered by the CBI. How can BJP react on it,” he told News18.

The official in question is BK Aggrawal, at present additional member of the Railway Board, who is one of the 12 accused against whom the CBI filed chargesheet on April 16 this year in a special CBI court in Delhi.

One of the JD(U)’s general secretaries told News18 that the BJP was consistently ignoring the main principals of Nitish Kumar related to governance and his well articulated policy of no compromise with Communalism and Corruption.

“This IRCTC scam in which the then Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Yadav was made an accused by the CBI worked as the last nail in the coffin of the grand alliance last year. How can BJP forget that?”, he told News18.

The Case Which Toppled Grand Alliance Government

The case pertains to alleged irregularities in the tender process through which two IRCTC run Railway hotels in Ranchi and Puri were handed over to Sujata Hotels for its maintenance, development and operations when Lalu Yadav was the Railway Minister between 2004 to 2009.

The CBI alleged that Yadav managed the tender in favour of Sujata Hotels in quid pro quo for a piece of land in Patna. Sujata Hotels, run by Kochar brothers, sold three acres of land to Delight Marketing in which Sarla Gupta, wife of RJD MP Premchand Gupta, was a director.

Between 2010 to 2013, this piece of land was transferred in the name of Rabri Devi and Tejashwi Yadav as the ownership of Delight Marketing was also transferred to Lara (Lalu-Rabri) Projects.

The CBI , after filing an FIR on July, 6, last year , raided the residence of Lalu and Rabri Yadav the very next day which further added to the woos of fragile RJD-JD(U) alliance and provided an ammunition to BJP, who was in opposition. Chief Minister Nitish Kumar asked his Deputy Tejashwi to come clean and the ever increasing differences over the issue of corruption resulted in collapse of Mahagathbandhan government on July 26.

Within hours after dumping the RJD-Congress alliance, Nitish Kumar decided to take support of willing BJP and sworn in as the CM on July 27.

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| Edited by: Sumedha Kirti
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