After AAP and Congress, Is Modi Going After Lalu Prasad Yadav?

Posted by Nikita Yadav in Politics
July 25, 2017

After a shraap (curse), the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is the only thing people in India, especially the politicians fear. It is speculated that due to its association with Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) and under the patronship of the Prime Minister, the agency has often been used for political vendetta and dislodging the opposition from its position. The alliance of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) is known for its intolerance towards any opposition and Lalu Prasad Yadav’s family seem to be their recent targets.

On June 20, 2017 the Income Tax Department charged Yadav and family under the Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Act 1988 against allegations of fraudulent land deals of up to ₹1,000 crore and tax evasion. Soon after, on July 7, 2017 CBI carried out raids at 12 locations including the residence of Lalu Prasad Yadav, his wife Rabri Devi and son Tejashwi Yadav in Patna. These raids were in connection with the alleged irregularities in tenders allotted to a private company known as Sujata Hotels for development, maintenance and operation of two railway hotels, including BNR Ranchi and Puri.

Backpedalling twenty years, 1997 was when Lalu was first uncovered in the feed trick. The recent stint is in connection to his tenure serving as the Railway Minister between 2004-09.

For the past few years, the media has been directing its trials and for this situation, it considers Lalu responsible for all the affirmed charges. Bihar’s former chief minister is infamous for his trail of corruption charges, but the ongoing battle is not his normal playfield as Yadav’s family has never been dragged or involved in any allegations until now. This time, many account his son Tejashwi Yadav as a culprit, posing a significant threat to his infant political career.

Presently, Yadav and the RJD appear to be the Bharatiya Janata Party’s current political targets after the Congress and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP). The Bharatiya Janata Party and Yadav have never been on cordial terms. Lalu has never shied away from openly taking a stand against the right- wing political party and its associations on their mostly communal propaganda.

However, it’s hard to ignore the timing of these charges that the CBI and BJP pioneers have been hurling at Lalu Yadav. Yadav had as of late declared his intention to organise an opposition rally in August. The two chief opposition leaders of Uttar Pradesh, Mayawati and Akhilesh Yadav, overlooked their past quibbling to declare they would be a part of his rally. Lalu has been consoling Mayawati and assuring her a seat in the Rajya Sabha from Bihar, if she does not have the expected numbers to get elected from Uttar Pradesh.

Bihar will be pivotal to the BJP in the 2019 Lok Sabha Elections. It will be difficult to gain majority without separating the mahagathbandhan of the RJD and Nitish Kumar’s Janata Dal (United). In this manner, the quest for corruption accusations against Yadav and his family bolsters the BJP’s propaganda of Bihar’s fall to gunda raj with Yadav in control. Likewise, it places Kumar in a spot with his ‘perfect government’ projection as he recently broke a 17-year long alliance with the BJP over Modi being elected as the Prime Ministerial candidate. Despite that, the BJP’s endeavours at winning back Kumar and imperilling the mahagathbandhan appeared to be succeeding when Kumar advocated for the ruling party’s presidential face.

Yadav has been claiming the investigation to be BJP’s political vendetta and denying his and his family’s involvement in the matter. What’s to be noted here is, whether this expose will derail Bihar’s first family’s political career or would it be a setback to the BJP’s hopes of gaining power in the state?

Image Credits: Getty Images