Fresh Trouble for Lalu: Enforcement Directorate initiates money laundering charges
All ghosts seem to be coming back to haunt Lalu to kick him when he's down.
In another major setback after Nitish Kumar joined hands with BJP, the ED has launched money laundering charges against him and his family in a corruption case relating to railway hotel allotment during his tenure as railway minister.
Let's see what fresh trouble is in store for Lalu!
ED implicates Lalu, family in money laundering case
What has happened so far?
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) raided premises belonging to Lalu Prasad Yadav, his wife Rabri Devi and son Tejashwi Yadav, pointing to corruption charges during his term as railway minister in 2006.
The Enforcement Directorate further raided three farm houses belonging to Lalu's daughter Misa Bharti in Delhi's Ghitorni, Bijwasan and Sainik.
Lalu accused the BJP of launching a 'witch-hunt' against him.
What are the charges?
Charges against Lalu and his family have been initiated under provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.
The CBI's FIR after raids in Lalu's family members' premises alleges that Lalu accepted bribe in the form of land in Patna through a benami company, from Sujata Hotels in exchange for handing over the maintenance of two IRCTC hotels in Ranchi and Patna.
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Who has been named?
Along with Lalu, his wife Rabri Devi and son Tejashwi Yadav, IRCTC Managing Director P K Goel, Lalu's close aide Prem Gupta's wife Sarla Gupta and directors of Sujata Hotels, Vinay and Vijay Kochhar have been named in the FIR
Did BJP masterminds plan this to destroy the grand alliance?
Ram Lal, BJP General Secretary (Organization) is reported to have told party members on July 10, to 'make a big issue' out of corruption charges against Lalu's family, with an eye on BJP victory in 2019 elections.
Senior members including current Deputy CM Sushil Kumar Modi were present at the meeting and consistently brought up charges against Lalu in the following days.
What could happen now?
As the case proceeds, the ED can soon be expected to confiscate and attach illegally obtained assets under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act. The NDA is further likely to do everything in its power to ensure that Lalu doesn't stitch together a strong opposition.