It was a completely cornered Lalu Prasad Yadav at the end of seven hours of questioning by the CBI in the IRCTC land scam Thursday.
The former railway minister and beleaguered RJD chief refused to answer most questions that were put to him. He was “evasive” in answering 80 per cent of the questions, CBI officials privy to the interrogation told India Today.
“For most questions his answer was I don’t know or I don’t remember,” says officials.
But, Lalu found himself cornered when confronted with documentary evidence mostly relating to his properties and shareholding in companies belonging to him or his family.
At these times, Lalu told the CBI he would not answer the questions. Lalu told the CBI that he should be questioned only about his properties and those of his two sons and his wife.
His other children, he told the CBI, were tax-paying adults and had independent sources of income. He could not be held responsible for their actions.
It is a fraud case. BJP, Amit Shah & Narendra Modi are a party to this. They want to ruin my family: Lalu Yadav on railway hotel tender case pic.twitter.com/XgkYIe1I7A
— ANI (@ANI) October 5, 2017
Lalu Yadav, however, could not answer questions about how he and his family got ultimate ownership of the 3-acre plot of land in Patna. He also refused to answer questions about the transfer and ultimate renaming of the company at the centre of the scam, Delight Marketing pvt ltd, a company fronted by Sarla Gupta, wife of Prem Chand Gupta who is an RJD leader and former UPA minister. Delight Marketing was renamed Lara projects pvt ltd, which the CBI suspects are an acronym for Lalu and Rabri.
Lalu was not only questioned about the CBI FIR filed in July this year but about the two farmhouses, one of which is attached by the Enforcement Directorate. He was also questioned about the round-tripping of funds used to buy the South Delhi farmhouse.
The RJD chief was questioned in the CBI interrogation room and along with CBI officials present was his daughter Misa Bharati who insisted on being in the room because her father was not keeping well.
Lalu Prasad Yadav said this was a political witchhunt launched by the BJP and the RSS. “Even if I get hanged, I will continue in my efforts to remove this government. The CBI officials were very good to me. They are doing this under instructions from the government,” Lalu told reporters as he left the CBI office.
His son Tejashwi Yadav, the former deputy chief minister of Bihar, is scheduled to appear before the agency tomorrow. The two were asked by the CBI to appear for questioning on October 5 and 6 in the alleged corruption case. This was after both leaders expressed their inability to appear on October 4 and 5. “He too will be questioned on the properties he acquired when his father was Railway minister,” CBI officials said.