Raids on Lalu Prasad, Chidambaram rile Opposition; ensuring accountability says the Government

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Also, I-T investigators have raided the buildings of RJD MP P C Gupta's son.

The day began with raids by the Central Bureau of Investigation in New Delhi, Chennai, Gurugram and Karaikudi in Tamil Nadu, while the Income Tax raided 22 locations in Delhi and Gurugram on a number of premises said to be owned by Lalu and kin.

The raids, which raise the spectre of political corruption (or a political witch-hunt, depending on which side one is listening to) come exactly three years after the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance's sweeping victory in the parliamentary elections on a pro-development and anti-corruption platform.

Along with Lalu Prasad Yadav, the raids are being conducted on several others in connection with benami land deals worth 1,000 crore.

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Lalu Yadav's RJD is a partner in the government of Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, who has said that if the BJP or central government have evidence of his ally's corruption, they should take action. His sons Tejashwi Yadav and Tej Pratap Yadav are ministers in the government. "All options, including approaching the court, are open if he does not respond or act", he said as he made fresh allegations that Prasad's MP daughter Misa Bharti had bought a piece of land at Sainik Farm in Delhi through a shell company. "Lalu is not scared of BJP-backed media and government puppets".

Some days before BJP suspected Lalu Prasad and his families of being convoluted in unethical land transactions.

In another tweet, he said, "RSS-BJP ko Lalu ke naam se kampkapi chhuti hai..."

On 12 May, Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad demanded that the centre probe the alleged land deals. "There has been casual talk about it within the Janata Dal - U but so far no decision has been taken in this regard", party state President Vashisht Narayan Singh said.

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Bihar's biggest shopping mall spread over 7.5 lakh square feet is coming up in Patna as part of such dubious transactions, the minister said.

Karti said he had committed no crime and the case against him was foisted on account of political vendetta.

"The Government, using the CBI and other agencies, is targeting my son and his friends.The Government's aim is to silence my voice and stop me from writing, as it has tried to do in the cases of leaders of Opposition parties, journalists, columnists, NGOs and civil society organisations", he said.

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