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Kidwai Sanctions Prosecution Of Laloo, 55 Others

Ujjwal Singh  |  BSCAL 

Bihar governors action may spark an open revolt against the CM, depleting his strength in the Assembly

Bihar governor A R Kidwai yesterday gave his assent to prosecute the Chief Minister, Laloo Prasad Yadav, and in the Rs 950 crore fodder scam ending a month-and-a-half long suspense regarding the fate of the beleaguered Chief Minister.

The Governor, who had been under severe criticism from the opposition and the dissidents in the ruling Janata Dal, accorded his permission to prosecute the Chief Minister, two of his ministerial colleagues animal husbandry minister Bhola Ram Toofani and labour minister Vidya Sagar Nishad Union minister of state for rural areas and employment Chandradeo Prasad Verma and former Chief Minister Jagannath Mishra besides the other accused in the RC case No 20/96.

Sources in the Raj Bhawan said the Governor gave his assent after he had a prolonged meeting the CBI joint director (east) U N Biswas at Raj Bhawan in the afternoon. It is to be noted here had been approached by the CBI on May 10 to accord the sanction to the investigating agency to prosecute the accused in the fodder scam case.

The Governors assent to the CBI coincided with the return of Chief minister Laloo Prasad Yadav here on Tuesday after his whirlwind tour of north Indian states of Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Delhi to garner support in his favour for the post of party president.

Informed sources in the investigating agency, however, said that it would take a couple of days to file the much awaited chargesheet against the Chief Minister and others. Yadav will be the first Chief Minister in independent India to face a chargesheet by the CBI while being in office.

The fodder scam came to light on January 27, 1996, when the deputy commissioner of Chaibasa Amit Khare conducted raids on the office of the AHD following instructions by the then finance secretary, V S Dubey. The raids had led to seizure of documents which unearthed a deep rooted conspiracy to swindle the public money at will.

Earlier in the day, the designated court of the CBI headed by S K Lal, decided to pronounce its judgement on the anticipatory bail application of former Bihar Chief Minister, Jagannath Mishra, on June 21 fuelling speculations in the political circles about the next move of Mishra.

That the CBI had taken a tough stand against the scamsters became evident when it raided the residential premises of five arrested senior Bihar officials once again and recovered vital clues suggesting involvement of Laloo Prasad Yadav and former Chief Minister Jagannath Mishra.

First Published: Wed, June 18 1997. 00:00 IST