Raids on Lalu: Nitish Kumar back in Patna, reaction awaited

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Nitish Kumar reaction awaited on raids at Lalu Prasad Yadav's residence
Nitish Kumar reaction awaited on raids at Lalu Prasad Yadav's residence

New Delhi : After spending three days in Rajgir, away from the Bihar capital where the political climate has heated up following CBI raids on RJD chief Lalu Prasad and his family, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Sunday returned to his official residence here, officials said.

"Nitish Kumar is back in Patna after spending three days in Rajgir in Nalanda district," an official of the Chief Minister's Office here said.

With Nitish Kumar back in Patna, now all eyes are on him to see when he will break his silence over the CBI raids on RJD chief Lalu Prasad and his family.

So far Nitish Kumar, who is also president of JD-U, has maintained a studied silence on the CBI raids on Lalu Prasad. "He may break his silence soon," a JD-U leader considered close to Nitish Kumar said. 

The Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) along with the Janata Dal-United (JD-U) and Congress is part of the Bihar ruling alliance, headed by Nitish Kumar. 

In the last two days, opposition BJP leaders have repeatedly demanded Nitish Kumar break his silence and take action against Lalu's two sons - Tejashwi Yadav, who is Deputy Chief Minister and Tej Pratap Yadav, who is Health Minister -- for their alleged involvement in corruption. Some BJP leaders have demanded that Nitish Kumar should end his party's alliance with the RJD.

According to JD-U leaders, during his stay in Rajgir, about 100 km from here, Nitish Kumar visited different tourist places. "On Saturday Nitish Kumar visited Ghora Katora and on Friday he visited another tourist place," a party official said.

It is expected that the JD-U will react to the incident as per directives of Nitish Kumar.

JD-U spokespersons are also keeping a distance from the media and have not reacted to the raids. "JD-U spokespersons are following instructions from Nitish Kumar and not saying anything on the issue," the party official said.

The CBI on Friday carried out raids at 12 places in Patna, Delhi, Ranchi, Puri and Gurugram in connection with the case involving Lalu Prasad and his family members.

The CBI has registered the case against Lalu Prasad, his wife and former Chief Minister Rabri Devi, Tejashwi Yadav, former Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) Managing Director P.K. Goyal, and Lalu Prasad's confidante Prem Chand Gupta's wife on allegations of awarding the tender for development, maintenance and operation of hotels in Ranchi and Puri in 2006.

In the same year, the hotels were transferred to the IRCTC.

Lalu Prasad was the Railways Minister between 2004-09.