Bihar Chief Secretary Anjani Kumar Singh on Thursday ordered an investigation into an alleged land scam involving Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Lalu Prasad Yadav’s son Tej Pratap Yadav. Tej Pratap is the state state environment and forest minister.
The order follows reports that soil from a property owned by the Yadavs was sold to Patna Zoo for Rs 90 lakh without following the mandated process to acquire a tender. Operations of the Sanjay Gandhi Biological Park – better known as Patna Zoo – are regulated by the Bihar Forest Department.
A large amount of soil was dug up from the property in question on the outskirts of Patna. Tej Pratap Yadav and his younger brother, Deputy Chief Minister Tejaswi Yadav, are the directors of the firm that owns the land. At present, a mall is being built on the plot by a private builder, who is also an RJD MLA. The soil from the land was dug out while construction work on the plot was on, CNN-News18 reported.
Once news of this emerged, the state Opposition demanded that an all-party committee look into the matter. Senior BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi said, “Since the RJD supremo [Lalu Prasad Yadav] is open to a probe by any agency, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar should set up an all-party committee to probe the alleged ‘soil purchase scam’ without any delay,” PTI reported.
SK Modi had also demanded that Tej Pratap Yadav be sacked from the Bihar Cabinet, after which the state environment and forest minister had threatened him with a defamation suit. His brother had called Modi a “propagandist’ for making a “baseless accusation”, but their father had said that the Yadav family was ready to be investigated by any agency.