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Lalu dares Modi, Shah to order raids against Bachchans, others named in Panama papers

Amitabh Bachchan and daughter-in-law Aishwarya Rai-Bachchan are among 424 Indians whose names have appeared in the Panama papers.

ranchi Updated: Aug 04, 2017 15:04 IST
B Vijay Murty
B Vijay Murty
Hindustan Times, Ranchi
Lalu Prasad Yadav,Narendra Modi,Amit Shah
RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav said the raids at his properties were intended to terrorise him, but “I am not the one to get cowed down at any cost”.(HT Photo)

Beleaguered RJD chief Lalu Prasad dared Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah on Thursday to order raids on Bollywood stars, Amitabh Bachchan and Aishwarya Rai, and 422 other Indians named in Panama papers for alleged tax evasion.

Prasad, whose RJD was ousted from the Bihar coalition government following raids at his properties in connection with alleged graft cases, said the Centre did not muster enough courage to take punitive actions against “influential people”, and is instead “victimising innocent and gullible people”, including him and his family.

Speaking to a select group of media personnel in Ranchi where he had come to face trial in the fodder scam, Prasad said the raids at his properties were intended to terrorise him, but “I am not the one to get cowed down at any cost”.

“There is a state of undeclared emergency in the country, with opposition party leaders being singled out and targeted. The Centre’s dictatorship has gradually spread to nearly 75% of the nation,” he said.

“There are innumerable dacoits and alligators moving freely but no action is being initiated against them. Opposition leaders are the investigating agencies soft targets.”

While speaking, he fished out papers from a file and read out a few names featured in the Panama papers.

“We would like to know why the government is silent on Amitabh, Aishwarya, Vinod Adani, DLF owners, Anurag Kejriwal, OS Kanwal, Anil Vasudev, Mohan Lal Lohia, Ratan Chadda, Abdul Rashid Mir, Nallick Srinivasan, Juberi Poonawala and others named in Panama papers,” Lalu questioned.

“Why do Modi and Shah not dare to direct authorities to raid their homes and properties? What stops them?” he asked, categorically taking names of the two Bollywood icons.

Bachchan and Rai’s names appeared in the secret documents of Mossack Fonseca, a law firm based in tax haven Panama, that were leaked in 2015 and came to be known as Panama papers.

The documents showed that Bachchan served as director of four offshore shipping companies between 1993 and 1997.

His daughter-in-law, Aishwarya, was director and shareholder of an offshore company along with members of her family, before it was thought to have been wound up in 2008.

Both the stars have rubbished the allegations as totally untrue and baseless.

First Published: Aug 04, 2017 15:04 IST