New Delhi: Stepping up investigation against former Bihar chief minister and Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief, Lalu Prasad Yadav, the income tax department on Tuesday morning raided 22 premises in Delhi and Gurugram in connection with benami land deals to the tune of Rs1,000 crore.
The I-T department said it was probing several businessmen and real estate agents as well, in connection with the deals.
“We are searching the premises of everyone connected to Lalu Prasad with regard to the benami land deals and cases of tax evasion as well. Searches have been on since morning and we will get to know more in due course of time," said a senior I-T official, on the condition of anonymity.
More than 100 I-T department officials raided premises across Delhi, Gurugram and Rewari in Haryana.
The raids come closely on the heels of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) alleging last week that Lalu Prasad’s daughter Misa Bharti and his two sons were involved in benami land deals to the tune of Rs1,000 crore, thereafter seeking a probe by the government in the matter.
On 12 May, Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad demanded, at a press conference in New Delhi, that the Centre probe the alleged land deals. He alleged that Lalu’s daughter Bharti, a Rajya Sabha MP, had failed to disclose these assets in her election affidavit and demanded the Election Commission to take action against her.
The Union minister said the land deals dated back to the time when Lalu Prasad was the Union railway minister in the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government and also urged Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar to initiate a probe in the matter.
Lalu Prasad Yadav, however, sounded a warning on Twitter, asking the BJP to “be careful".
“Beware egoist and fascist BJP leaders! Before threatening Lalu, look at your face in the mirror. There are millions of thousands of Lalus in Bihar," he said on Twitter, on Monday night.
Bihar’s biggest shopping mall spread over 7.5 lakh square feet is coming up in Patna as part of such dubious transactions, he had alleged at a news conference.