PATNA: Bihar Opposition leader Tejashwi Yadav's membership of the Assembly could be in jeopardy as the ruling BJP plans to formally complain to Election Commission of India (ECI) that he concealed his iron and steel business in his affidavit before the polls.
"This is a serious contravention of the rules stipulated for contesting elections. We are going to approach ECI. The RJD leader, who is known to have amassed huge wealth and already faces probes, should first explain to the people why he concealed this business in his affidavit," said BJP legislator Nitin Navin, who is also the state president of BJP's youth wing, on Saturday.
Deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi of BJP had recently alleged that Tejashwi has been working as a 'handling and storage agent' of leading steel company 'Jindal Steel and Power Limited' (JSPL) since 2012. "While he (Tejashwi) owns a company named 'Lara and Sons' that is engaged in sales of iron and steel, he did not disclose this fact in his affidavit before ECI when he filed the papers for the 2015 Assembly polls," Modi had said on Wednesday.
Accusing Tejashwi of evading taxes on the earnings of his company, Modi also showed documents to claim that the 29-year-old RJD leader showed a zero turnover of his business in his value added tax (VAT) returns. If Tejashwi, who is RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav's younger son and presently leader of Opposition in Bihar Assembly, loses his Assembly membership, he will be the second Bihar MLA to have this fate.
In April 2014, the election of independent MLA Somprakash Singh was nullified by Patna High Court because he had concealed the fact that his resignation from government service was not accepted during the Assembly polls in 2010. Singh, who was elected as an MLA from Obra constituency in Aurangabad district, had been serving as a police sub-inspector. RJD leaders reacted evasively about BJP's plans to move ECI.
"Instead of answering the massive corruption charges levelled against BJP leaders, they are indulging in such acts. The state's people are watching every step leaders of the two main ruling parties (JD-U and BJP) are taking," said RJD national vice-president Shivanand Tiwary. In a fresh salvo aimed at Tejashwi, Sushil Kumar Modi also alleged on Saturday that the RJD leader had come to own over 255 decimal land in Patna City area on lease for 91 years - from 2012 to 2101 - at a meagre annual rent of Rs 20,000. This land, Modi alleged, was purchased by Lalu Prasad Yadav in the names of his late elder brother Mukund Prasad Yadav's relatives.