- CBI says it wants to interrogate Lalu Yadav on Monday in Delhi
- As Railways Minister, he took kickbacks in form of real estate: CBI
- This case ended Nitish Kumar's alliance with Congress and Lalu
Lalu, as he is known, has denied the charges, attributing them to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's determination to defang vocal opponents. The Bihar leader is at the heart of a league of parties who are somewhat falteringly trying to pull together to prevent Mr Modi's re-election in 2019.
This is the first time that Lalu will be interrogated for what's called the "hotels-for-land scam". In 2008, when Lalu was Railways Minister, he chose a firm to operate two heritage hotels owned by his ministry. Investigators contend that over the next few years, the grateful entrepreneurs who landed the valuable 15-year contracts created shell firms, placed Lalu's children as directors of those firms, then transferred valuable property to those firms, which made Lalu and family the owners of three acres of land in their home state.
In July, Lalu's home and offices in Patna were raided by the CBI. At the time, his party was the most senior member of the Bihar government led by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar. But the scale of the inquiry against Lalu and the naming of his son and Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Yadav, as an accused in the alleged scam, was used by the Chief Minister to pull the trigger on the coalition government that also included the Congress as a third partner. Both dumped allies accused Mr Kumar of abandoning ideology for political expediency.
Last month, Tejashwi Yadav, 28, was questioned by the income tax department in Patna for nearly seven hours. In answer to the first question put to him, he said, "Mein Tejashwi Yadav, ninth pass", introducing himself as a school dropout. He will be interrogated again a day after his father.
Lalu has already been convicted of corruption in a case related to his stint as Chief Minister of Bihar and is, as a result, banned from running for election and holding public office.