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Investigation unearths Lalu's land-for-job scam

Investigation unearths Lalu's land-for-job scam

Author: Priyanka Dube
Publication: IBNLive.com
Date: August 11, 2008
URL: http://www.ibnlive.com/news/investigation-unearths-lalus-landforjob-scam/70825-3.html

Lalu Prasad Yadav is a man many laud for Indian Railways' massive turnaround, but a year-long IBN7 investigation has revealed that he misused his position as the Union Railway Minister to help his relatives acquire land.

The investigation shows that Lalu bought land, worth several lakh rupees for his relatives, from those who aspired for a job in the Railways.

Vishnu Dev is one of the many people who sold their lands to Lalu's relatives in exchange for a job.

Vishnu and many of his family members are now Railway employees. Sting operation footage shows Vishnu claiming that he and his relatives acquired their jobs because of Lalu.

"They've passed orders to recruit six people. There are eight people in all. I have to wait for another 10 days… I have spoken to Bhola about it," the footage shows Vishnu as saying.

Bhola is Lalu's personal assistant, Vishnu says.

Documents in possession of IBN7 show that Kishundev, one of Vishnu's relatives, sold his plot on February 5, 2008 to Lalu's wife, Rabri Devi for Rs 4,21,000. The document, however, doesn't state Rabri made this payment.

Vishnu Dev's case is not an isolated one. Baldev Rai and many of his relatives too are railway employees. He too claims that he sold his land to Lalu for a job.

IBN 7: How much land did Lalu buy?

Baldev Rai: He bought about three or four acres.

IBN 7: Did he give you anything in return for that land?

Baldev Rai: Yes, he gave a job.

IBN 7: Whom did he give the job to?

Baldev Rai: He gave the job to my nephew Bhushan.

IBN 7: How many did he offer the job to?

Baldev Rai: About four or five people.

IBN 7: Has everyone being finalised?

Baldev Rai: Everyone has joined. They have joined in Badh and Bakhtiyarpur.

There are allegations that even some RJD MPs, who wanted to become ministers, have had to donate their lands to Lalu.

The investigation found out that RJD MPs Kanti Singh (Arrah) and Raghunath Jha (Bettiah) 'gifted' land worth Rs 35 lakh and Rs 9 lakh respectively to Lalu's sons.

When questioned by IBN 7, Kanti Singh explained, "What is wrong with donating land to him (Lalu)? His sons are like my sons." Jha said, "What's wrong if I donate my land to him?"

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