CBI on Friday conducted raids at 12 premises of Lalu Prasad Yadav in Delhi, Patna, Ranchi and Gurgaon in connection with a case of alleged irregularities in tenders allotted to a private company Sujata Hotels for development, maintenance and operation of BNR hotels at Ranchi and Puri.
After the news broke, BJP leader Giriraj Singh urged Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar to speak up against the on-going investigation of corruption charges against RJD supremo Lalu Prasad Yadav. Speaking to reporters, Singh said that the chief minister can longer remain a "mute spectator". "Law is taking its course. Now Nitish Kumar ji cannot remain a mute spectator. He will have to speak out and state his stand clearly," Singh said.
"Now, Nitish Kumar has to decide if he wants to stay with Lalu Prasad, who is already a convict in corruption case," Singh said.
The CBI registered a case against Lalu Prasad, his wife Rabri Devi, his son Tejashwi Yadav on corruption charges during his tenure as Railways minister in 2006. The agency conducted raids at Rabri Devi's current residence, 10, Circular Road in Patna.
A team also carried out raids in New Friends Colony, New Delhi and at Chankya BNR Hotel in Puri. Former Managing Director, Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation Ltd (IRCTC) P K Goel, Sujata, wife of Yadav's confidante Prem Chand Gupta, two directors of a private company, have also been booked by CBI in connection with the case, among others.
Several RJD leaders reacted strongly against the raids and gathered outside Lalu Prasad's residence to express solidarity. Describing the day as "the darkest day in Indian democracy", RJD leader Manoj Jha said that the party leaders will fight against the raids.
"Today is the darkest day in Indian democracy. We will not be cowed down by this. We will fight legally and politically," Jha said.
Meanwhile, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar called for a senior officers meeting in Rajgir on Friday. It still remains to be seen whether the meeting is being called to discuss the CBI raids at Lalu Prasad's residence.