Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi today levelled fresh charges against RJD supremo Lalu Prasad of amassing 'benami' properties, alleging that his family received a valuable piece of land in Patna from a man who apparently did not have the means to own it.
The RJD denied the charges.
He said he previously gave details of land transferred in the name of Lalu Prasad or his family by leaders of his party.
"I now wish to draw the people's attention towards a transaction wherein a little-known person from Gopalganj district gave away land to Misa Bharti - more than six thousand square feet he supposedly owned in Patna," he told reporters.
"It is puzzling how the purported owner Subhash Chandra Chaudhary, with modest means came to own the plot in the state capital which must be worth crores now.
"It is odd that though the property was said to be acquired in 1993 itself, it was not mutated until 2003 when he gifted away the land to Prasad's daughter saying he was impressed by the services she had offered," Modi said.
"The land was gifted to Misa when her mother Rabri Devi was the chief minister of Bihar. One can not understand why the purported owner gave it away to Misa instead of his own children," he said.
"All this looks like an exercise in money laundering. Land was being bought with the RJD supremo's ill-gotten money in the name of someone pliable who would oblige by transferring the property in the name of a relative of Lalu in course of time," Modi, who also holds the finance portfolio in the Bihar government, said.
"I have evidence suggesting that his extended family owns about 150 benami properties across the country. It would not be wrong to say that he has left Robert Vadra way behind," he added.
However, the allegations made by Sushil Modi drew sharp criticism from the RJD.
"Sushil Modi has been playing the same record again and again. The senior BJP leader is doing so because the Narendra Modi government at the Centre is feeling threatened by Prasad, who is making efforts to unite all non-NDA forces before the next Lok Sabha polls," RJD spokesman Mrityunjay Tiwari told PTI.
"There is no merit in what the Bihar Deputy CM is saying. Details of assets owned by RJD leaders are in public domain and we have nothing to hide. He is wasting time by indulging in mud-slinging instead of concentrating on development of the state," Tiwari said.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)