Charges baseless, says Lalu
Railway Minister Lalu Prasad rejects as “baseless and malicious” charges that he had provided jobs in the railways to persons who had allegedly gifted lands to him, reports Srinand Jha and Anirban Guha Roy.Updated: Aug 13, 2008 23:55 IST
Railway Minister Lalu Prasad rejected as “baseless and malicious” charges that he had provided jobs in the railways to persons who had allegedly gifted land and buildings to him and his family members.
The allegations of a ‘land-for-job’ scam were made by the president of the Bihar unit of the Janata Dal (United), Rajiv Ranjan Singh ‘Lallan’ on Tuesday.
Referring to land transactions finalised by members of Lalu’s family, a television sting had insinuated that the deals were for a quid pro quo arrangement.
Many of the transactions referred to by the TV channel do not relate to him or his family members, Lalu said.
“In the case of land deals related to me, the deals are duly registered and transfer of title has taken place after payment of reasonable consideration to the seller,” he said.
Lalu said the land transactions related to him and his family members were included in the property returns filed by him in Parliament and with the Prime Minister's Office, as required under the rules.
The TV sting also alleged that RJD MPs Raghunath Jha and Kanti Singh were rewarded with ministerial berths after they concluded land deals in favour of the Railway Minister’s family members.
In Patna, RJD leaders did not refute the charges of land transfers in the name of Lalu and his family members.
Instead, they claimed that the total value of the land was only Rs 13.89 lakh and not over Rs 100 crore as alleged by the JD(U).
Asked why Kanti Singh had allegedly transferred a two-storeyed building in Lalu’s name, an RJD spokesperson said the charge was “baseless”.