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'They Call Me the Biggest 'Zamindar': Lalu Yadav Attacks BJP

NDTV logo NDTV 19-05-2017 Edited by Shylaja Varma
Rabri Devi forced RSS to change uniform: Lalu Yadav © Reuters Rabri Devi forced RSS to change uniform: Lalu Yadav

Patna: Bihar politician Lalu Yadav has rubbished allegations of corrupt land deals, hitting out at the BJP and its ideological mentor the Rashtriya Swayansevak Sangh (RSS) for what he called an attempt to sully his image. He said the charges that he and his children own benaami or proxy property worth a 1,000 crores have been fabricated to exact political revenge.  

His sharpest attack is on the BJP's senior Bihar leader Sushil Kumar Modi, who has released documents over weeks that he says support his allegations against Mr Yadav, who is chief of the Rashtriya Janata Dal or RJD. "They call me the biggest zamindar, they say I am the biggest land owner in Bihar," Lalu Yadav told NDTV on Friday, alleging that Sushil Modi has ensured bad press for him after the Income Tax department searched multiple properties in and around Delhi as part of its investigation earlier this week. 

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"Whatever my children have acquired be it land, shares, the details are in public domain. The Income Tax department has the details about it," Mr Yadav said, defending the move to build a mall in Patna on land owned by his family. "What's wrong in building a mall," he asked, detailing that he "shared 50:50 with the builder, so how does it all come into my account."

"I am the head of the family and overseeing everything and this is an attempt to create a bad perception about me," the 69-year-old leader added. 

Lalu Yadav insists that he is being targeted because of his persistent criticism of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the BJP and RSS which he charges with being "fascist." In aggressive tweets all week he has accused the BJP with misusing central agencies against him and said that he will be "intimidated." 

He has also called it an attempt to scuttle his efforts to bring together opposition parties at a giant anti-BJP rally in Patna in August. 

Sushil Modi has suggested that Lalu Yadav should not bother with those plans as he is "likely to be in jail by August." 

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