Can't Recall is Lalu's Response to Most of CBI's Questions

RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav arrives at CBI office in Delhi on Thursday.

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New Delhi: After asking for being relieved from appearing before a CBI probing team in connection with the 'land for railway tender' scam a number of times, Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) President and former Railway Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav ran out of excuses on Thursday and presented himself before the investigative agency where he was grilled for nearly seven hours by the probing team.

Yadav, who was accompanied by his daughter and MP Misa Bharti, was questioned for almost seven hours during which the investigators asked him about 100 questions from a prepared list.

The RJD chief was asked about the terms and conditions of the deal between the Railways and the BNR Hotel Group owned by the Kochar Brothers, what role he played in the deal, what sort of business the Delight Marketing owned by Yadav's family members involved in, how long he had known Sarla Gupta, what were the reasons for the Kochar Brothers to give land to Yadav's family in 2005, did he know about the involvement of his wife Rabri Devi and son Tejaswi Yadav in the land deals; and is he familiar with all the properties owned by his wife and son; among many other questions.

Sources said Yadav, at the guidance of his lawyers, answered 'I do not recall' to most of the questions though he denied ever engaging in corrupt practices while he was the Railway Minister of India.

Talking to the reporters after being grilled by the CBI, Yadav said that the Nitish government in Bihar, in collusion with the Narendra Modi administration in Delhi, was trying to intimidate him in an attempt to finish him politically.

"I and my family members are being harassed unnecessarily by the CBI but I am not afraid of anything. All my properties are in public domain and the CBI should stop treating me as if I am Vijay Mallya," the RJD chief said referring to the fallen millionaire facing a slew of white collar crimes.

Expressing his faith in the Indian judiciary, Yadav said that it was the golden age of the Indian Railways when he was the Railway Minister in the UPA government.

"I made the railways profitable for the first time without ever downsizing human resources or services. That is why the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is trying to punish me. This government is trying to break the nation on communal lines. They can hang me but they cannot crush my voice against communalism and fascism," he said.

Yadav's son and former Deputy Chief Minister Tejaswi Yadav is expected to appear before the CBI court on Friday.

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