Land-for-job scam case: Tejashwi calls ED summons 'routine', drop hints he might give it slip
Yadav asserted that there was "nothing new" in the summons and alleged that the central agencies were acting as per the directions of the ruling BJP
Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Yadav dropped hints that he might give the slip to the latest summons by the Enforcement Directorate, which has asked him to turn up in Delhi on Friday, 22 December.
Yadav, who returned from the national capital on Thursday, 21 December after a trip that lasted three days, asserted that there was "nothing new" in the summons, even as he alleged that the central agencies were acting as per the directions of the ruling BJP.
"There is nothing new in the summons. All these agencies -- ED, CBI and I-T department -- have summoned me so many times in the past and I have duly appeared every time. But now it seems to have become routine," said the young RJD leader who is on the agencies' radar in a land-for-jobs scam.
Besides Yadav, the ED has issued summons to his father and RJD president Lalu Prasad, who was the Railway Minister when the alleged scam took place.
Prasad has been asked to appear on December 27.
Yadav added, tongue-in-cheek, "I have always maintained that it is not the fault of these agencies which are being made to function under so much pressure. But I must point out that a prediction I made some time ago has come true."
"I had said that no sooner than the assembly elections in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh were over, these agencies would be back in business and train their guns on Bihar, Jharkhand and Delhi. And you can see what is happening to Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal," said Yadav.
Notably, Kejriwal, the founder of the Aam Aadmi Party, on Thursday, 21 December skipped a summons by ED which had asked him to appear for questioning in the excise policy related money laundering case.
The Bihar deputy CM, who had attended the 19 December meeting of the INDIA coalition, refuted reports in a section of the media that the conclave brought to the fore frosty relations between Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and his father, a reason why neither was present when Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge briefed the media.
"The meeting was held in a cordial atmosphere and it was a collective decision that only one leader shall speak at the press conference," said Yadav.
"A section of the media seems intent on working on an agenda. It grabs some eyeballs but ends up losing credibility and gets laughed at," he added.
Meanwhile, Union minister and senior BJP leader Giriraj Singh, who came from Delhi by the same flight as Yadav and Prasad, tried to fish in troubled waters, albeit in a lighter vein.
Singh ducked queries about the summonses against the RJD leaders, but when asked if he and the RJD spokesperson talked on board, quipped, "Yes, Lalu ji told me that now he will settle for nothing less than the CM's chair for Tejashwi.
Incidentally, the RJD has a much greater number of MLAs than the CM's JD(U), though Kumar has also indicated that he is willing to pass on the mantle to his deputy when the state faces the next assembly polls in 2025.
- Arvind Kejriwal
- Enforcement Directorate
- Rashtriya Janata Dal
- Aam Aadmi Party
- Tejashwi Yadav
- Lalu Prasad