PATNA: A day after Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad was questioned for nearly 10 hours, his younger son and former Bihar deputy chief minister Tejashwi Prasad Yadav was interrogated by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) for about eight hours on Tuesday in connection with land-for-job scam case.
Tejashwi reportedly faced 60 questions related to the case. The questionnaire was prepared by a Delhi team of the probe agency. The interrogation started soon after Tejashwi reached the Gandhi Maidan office of the agency at around 11.35 am from 10, Circular Road residence of his mother and former chief minister Rabri Devi in a car.
Tejashwi was earlier issued a summons asking him to appear before the Patna office of the agency as he had failed to turn up at its Dehli office for questioning on two occasions citing his busy schedule as one of the reasons. Later, an ED team from Delhi reached Rabri’s residence and handed over the copies of the summons against Lalu and Tejashwi.
While Lalu was asked to appear for interrogation on January 30, his son was told to depose on the following day. Lalu’s interrogation lasted for nearly 10 hours. Lalu looked frail and tired when he came out of the office of the probe agency after 10-hour-long interrogation, and he straightway headed for Rabri’s residence in a car. He parried media queries for obvious reasons.
As the news about Tejashwi’s appearance spread, hundreds of supporters of RJD and some former ministers and senior leaders gathered outside the office of the investigating agency and staged a sit-in agitation. Lalu’s eldest daughter and Rajya Sabha member Misa Bharti, Rajya Sabha member Manoj Jha, former minister Alok Kumar Mehta party spokesperson Shakti Singh Yadav and others participated in the dharna.
The RJD leaders accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah of harassing Opposition leaders in general and Lalu’s family in particular ahead of Lok Sabha elections. They alleged that central agencies like CBI, ED and IT department were misused for harassing Opposition party leaders through false and fabricated cases registered against them.
Misa told the media, “BJP knows that it will lose in upcoming Lok Sabha elections. So they are (mis) using central probe agencies against Opposition leaders of the states where they are apprehending their defeat in the elections. I apprehend that the same story will be repeated in neighbouring Jharkhand as well.”
Tejashwi came out of the ED office at around 8 pm. As he stepped out of the office, hundreds of his supporters shouted slogans ‘Tejashwi Yadav Zindabad’, ‘Tejashwi Yadav nahi jhukega, nahi jhukega’ etc. Even some security personnel deputed outside the ED office were seen taking snaps with the young leader, who waved hands to encourage his supporters waiting outside the ED office. He also showed victory signs to his supporters before departing for his residence.
Later Manoj Jha said, “‘It’s not ED’s action. It is action orchestrated by PM Modi and Amit Shah. ED is Modi and Modi is ED.”Alok Kumar Mehta said that people will give reply to PM Modi and BJP in the elections. “Janata sab dekh rahi hai (people are watching all these things),” he asserted.
On the other hand, BJP state president and deputy chief minister Samrat Choudhary said that investigating agencies were doing their job. “Those who have plundered public money and indulged in corrupt practices will not be spared during the present dispensation,” he said.