RJD President Lalu Prasad Yadav on Sunday termed the allegations of transfer of benami properties levied by BJP to his family as “baseless” and “absurd”. He claimed that the transactions were carried as per the law.
"All the allegations leveled against my family (wife and two sons) are baseless and absurd. All the transactions have been done in accordance with the relevant provisions of the laws concerned," Prasad told reporters here.
Prasad, however, said the two acres of land on which a mall is being built in Patna belonged to the company owned by his family. To a query on the ownership of the land on which the mall is coming up, Prasad said, "The land belongs to the company in which three persons namely Rabri Devi, Tejashwi Prasad Yadav and Tej Pratap Yadav are the shareholders."
"Half of the share in the mall being built will be of the builder, while the remaining half will be that of the company," Prasad said. BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi had on April 7 demanded that Chief Minister Nitish Kumar sack Lalu Prasad's two minister sons for allegedly getting benami properties worth Rs 750 crore transferred in their names.
Asserting that all the transactions with regard to transfer of shares have been done as per the laws, Prasad said the charges were a conspiracy to tarnish the image of his family. Modi had alleged that Prasad during his tenure as Railway Minister had sold off two hotels in Puri and Ranchi controlled by the Railways to a hospitality chain owned by one Harsh Kochar in February 2005.
"Kochar in turn got two acres of land registered in the name of Delight Marketing Company Private Limited, in which Lalu Prasad's wife Rabri Devi and his two sons Tej Pratap Yadav and Tejashwi Prasad Yadav were made directors," he had alleged.
Replying to the allegations, the RJD supremo claimed Kochar was allotted the lease of the two hotels through a competitive bidding and the highest bidder was given the lease of the two hotels.
Reacting to Prasad's comment, Modi claimed that his allegations have been proved "correct" as Prasad had himself "admitted" that he is the owner of the said land of two acres with an estimated cost Rs 500 crore.
"I am happy that Lalu Prasad has admitted all the charges leveled by me. He has not denied any of allegations such as Delight company, LARA or his sons' shares in the company rather he tried to convince the people that it has been done in a legal and fair manner," Modi said.
Modi again demanded that Chief Minister Kumar sack Tejaswhi and Tej Pratap from his cabinet for allegedly getting benami properties transferred in their names. Seeking investigation into the "mall scam", Modi said that Kumar has been demanding from the Centre to attack benami properties and now he should act against his ministers as the properties lie in Bihar.