Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad’s elder son Tej Pratap
might face a probe again as the state government is going to reopen files of a Rs 90-lakh soil scam.
had held the health, environment and forestry and minor irrigation departments in the Grand Alliance government. That government had collapsed last week when Nitish Kumar
has resigned as chief minister after corruption charges were levelled against alliance partner Lalu Prasad and his family. Tej Pratap’s younger brother, Tejashwi, was also named in the case. Tejashwi was Nitish Kumar’s deputy in that government. Nitish Kumar
had quit but formed the new government with support from the Bharatiya Janata Party.
Assuming charge as the finance minister on Monday, senior BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi said the new government would not play vendetta politics, but would take strict action against the guilty. “We are reviewing the files relating to the soil scam. Soil scam is a very small thing, involving Rs 40-50 lakh. But through this scam we found that Lalu Prasad was the owner of benami properties worth Rs 1,000 crore,” Modi said.
The government would also check if there were other irregularities during the tenure of Lalu Prasad’s minister sons, said the state finance minister.
It has been alleged that Tej Pratap
misused his position as the minister of the environment and forests department to sell soil excavated from two acres on which a mall belonging to Lalu Prasad and his family was being built. The soil was sold to the Patna zoo for Rs 90 lakh by violating rules. Chief Secretary Anjani Singh had given him a clean chit in this regard in May, after a thorough investigation ordered by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.
Modi said his government would take strong action against sand mining mafia operating in Patna and neighboring areas. “We are acting against sand mining mafia in which RJD leaders are involved. It has come to light that most of RJD’s political funding comes from the sand mining mafia and we have started taking action against them,” said Modi.
Patna and Saran police departments have been carrying out a massive operation against the sand mining mafia.