T dept conducts raids over Lalu Prasad's benami properties

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The premises of the son of Rashtriya Janata Dal MP, P.C. Gupta and a few other businessmen were also searched.

The day began with raids by the Central Bureau of Investigation in New Delhi, Chennai, Gurugram and Karaikudi in Tamil Nadu, while the Income Tax raided 22 locations in Delhi and Gurugram on a number of premises said to be owned by Lalu and kin.

The BJP leader also alleged that the land deals were done during Lalu Prasad's tenure as Union Railway Minister in the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government.

"The politics of Lalu Prasad has become politics of loot land worth crores of rupees was grabbed for a pittance", he said.

The I-T department raids come after some BJP leaders alleged 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.

The BJP, meanwhile, demanded that the Nitish Kumar government, in which RJD is a coalition partner, probe the allegations of "shady land deals" of Lalu and some of his children.

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West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee termed as "political vendetta" the raids on Chidambaram's son and Lalu and said she had discussed the issue with Congress president Sonia Gandhi. He also accused Bharti of not disclosing these assets to the Election Commission (EC) and demanded that the poll panel take action against her.

On 12 May Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad wanted the Central Government to investigate the suspected land transactions.

Former chief minister Jitan Ram Manjhi, whose Hindustani Awam Morcha-Secualar is a ally of the NDA, said it was a raid against corruption and it should be viewed like that.

Sushil Modi and Lalu Prasad. Let's wait to see what IT gets in the raids or if it is only a part of pressure against opposition leaders like Lalu Prasad, who have been attacking the RSS, BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Lalu's official residence was the address of the owners of the firms allegedly floated by his family members, Ravi Shankar Prasad had said.

Taking a dig at Opposition parties over their efforts to unite, the law minister asked if their proposed alliance is meant to be a cover for corruption and if "rank corruption will be covered in the name of secularism".

Kumar should submit a roadmap to the Centre giving details as how much funds was required for which scheme, the dalit leader said.

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