- Lalu's son Tejashwi Yadav is Deputy Chief Minister of Bihar
- Accused of acquiring real estate through proxy firms
- Delhi home bought by export firm, which now has him as owner
Through the last 10 days, Tejashwi Yadav's various land holdings have been publicised by BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi, who says that the transactions all follow the same pattern: a company acquires property, then keeps changing its directors till Tejashwi and often his siblings or his mother are made owners of the firm. Not much reading between the lines is needed, the BJP politician claims, to conclude proxy ownership and illicit gifts of land to the Lalu family. If this were not the case, he says, Tejashwi Yadav would have clearly listed the different plots in his record of assets that he is required to provide as a minister.
Lalu and Tejashwi Yadav both say that was done, including in the case of the plot in Delhi's Friends Colony. But a scrutiny of the minister's records given to the Election Commission show that is not correct.
In 2008, a company called AB Export purchased a house there for 5 crores, its regulatory filings show.
It was a mystery purchase, since the company showed business dealings; it also did not appear to have any employees on its payroll. Its Memorandum of Association simply says -"Into import, export and trading of diamonds, gems and other precious stones."
The source of funds to purchase the company came from five Mumbai-based jewellery companies, each of them who deposited roughly a crore each in the form of convertible debentures: Alka Diamond Industries, Real Gold Trading Co Pvt Ltd:, Hema Trading Co Pvt Ltd and Yash V Jewels Ltd.
It's unclear why these companies would want to inject such sizeable sums of money into what seems to be a "shell" company. Attempts made to contact them proved futile.
The directors and the shareholders of AB Export at that time were Ashok Kumar Banthia and Sangita Banthia.
Over the next three years, the ownership of the company - and of the house - was transferred to Tejashwi Yadav. His siblings- brother and fellow minister Tej Pratap and sister Chanda -were made directors and shareholders of the company.
Sushil Kumar Modi of the BJP says these land deals - he has highlighted similar ones in Bihar - are kickbacks received by Lalu, who, apart from his term as Railways Minister, was also Chief Minister of Bihar. He is barred from holding public office after being convicted in a corruption scam.