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Tejashwi Yadav grilled by ED in land-for-jobs scam case

Patna: Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader Tejashwi Yadav was questioned by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) for over four hours on Tuesday in connection with the money laundering probe into the alleged land-for-jobs scam, officials said.

Tejashwi, the son of former Bihar chief minister and RJD supremo Lalu Prasad Yadav, arrived at the ED office in Patna around 11 am and left after 3 pm, sources said. He was accompanied by several RJD workers and leaders, who staged a protest outside the ED office against the agency’s action.

The ED had summoned Tejashwi after interrogating his father for about 10 hours on Monday in the same case. Lalu Prasad Yadav, who is serving a jail term in Ranchi in connection with the fodder scam cases, was brought to Patna on a production warrant by the ED.

The land-for-jobs scam, also known as the IRCTC scam, pertains to the alleged transfer of prime railway land in Patna and Puri to private parties in exchange for jobs in the railways when Lalu Prasad Yadav was the railway minister between 2004 and 2009.

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The ED has alleged that Lalu Prasad Yadav, his wife Rabri Devi, and his daughter Misa Bharti acquired several properties in the name of shell companies at throwaway prices in lieu of the favours granted to the private parties.

Tejashwi Yadav, who was the deputy chief minister of Bihar till July 2017, has also been accused of acquiring a three-acre plot of land in Patna worth Rs 45 crore for just Rs 54 lakh through a benami company.

The ED has filed a charge sheet against Lalu Prasad Yadav, Rabri Devi, Misa Bharti, Tejashwi Yadav, and others under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) in the case. The agency has also attached several properties worth over Rs 44 crore in the case.

The RJD has termed the ED’s action as a political vendetta by the BJP-led central government to weaken the opposition ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha elections. The party has also accused the ED of violating the court’s order by questioning Lalu Prasad Yadav and Tejashwi Yadav without providing them the copies of the charge sheet and the documents.

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