ED officials summon Lalu and Tejashwi again

Patna: Enforcement Directorate officials met RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav and his son Tejashwi Yadav, Bihar’s deputy chief minister, at former CM Rabri Devi’s residence in Patna on Friday. The ED has issued a fresh summons to both the RJD leaders over an alleged money-laundering case related to the land-for-jobs scam case. Sources said that Lalu Prasad Yadav has been asked to appear for questioning on January 29 and Tejashwi Yadav a day later, on January 30, at the ED’s Bank Road office here.

Both Lalu Prasad Yadav and Tejashwi Yadav had earlier skipped the summons in this case. The scam is linked to the period when RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav was the railway minister in the UPA-1 government.

The political temperature has risen in Bihar as RJD leaders claim that the ED summons to Lalu Yadav and his son could be attributed to a political vendetta. The development comes amid their efforts to finalise seat-sharing arrangements with the grand alliance partners in Bihar.

Earlier on Friday, RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav and Tejashwi Yadav had met Chief Minister Nitish Kumar at his residence in Patna. The meeting lasted for more than half an hour. Lalu Prasad Yadav had earlier hinted that the seat-sharing exercise among the INDIA bloc allies may take more time.

“The matter is still being discussed. A seat-sharing exercise takes time. It doesn’t happen so fast”, Mr Lalu Yadav said on Wednesday.

Talking to reporters after meeting Bihar CM Nitish Kumar on Friday, deputy CM Tejashwi Yadav said: “It was a routine affair. Nitish Kumar is our chief minister, so we discuss government matters with him. The Bihar government has been fulfilling all promises and providing jobs”.

When asked about the ongoing seat-sharing negotiations, Mr Tejashwi Yadav said: “I don’t know why there is so much curiosity about our seat-sharing. Has the BJP finalised seat sharing with its NDA partners? There is a Mahagathbandhan government in Bihar so all the parties who are in the alliance will fight with full strength. We are with the JD(U) and after the elections, you will see the NDA being wiped out”.

Speculation is rife that the JD(U), a previous NDA partner, is not ready to compromise on a reduced number of seats for the upcoming 2024 Lok Sabha elections. Reports suggest the JD(U) has told the RJD that it would retain the 16 seats it had won in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections and secure the Kishanganj seat, where the party holds the second position.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle )
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