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Lalu downplays letter controversy

August 19, 2005 15:28 IST

Rashtriya Janata Dal supremo and Railways Minister Lalu Prasad on Friday  sought to downplay the controversy over Bihar Governor Buta Singh's letter to him regarding  transfer of a senior Railways official.

"It is all natural (for the Governor) to write a letter to me ... what is the big deal if he (Governor) wrote a letter? The officer in question is still where he was before and has not been posted anywhere," Prasad told reporters after his meeting with Buta Singh in Delhi.

The RJD chief said he informed the Governor about a vigilance inquiry against the officer and  Singh agreed that if that was the case, he should not be transferred.

The Railway Minister dismissed as 'nonsense' the reference to transfer and said since there were some vigilance charges against the officer, 'we didn't transfer him.'

Prasad also met United Progressive Alliance chairperson Sonia Gandhi but said the meeting had no connection with the matter and was on the rural employment guarantee bill taken up in the Lok Sabha on Thursday.

Also read: After NDA, CPI demands recall of Buta Singh

The Governor had written an official letter, dated July 5, requesting Prasad to help transfer Indian Railway Stores Service (IRSS) officer Vijay P Meshram to Mumbai as controller of stores in central railway.

Meshram, currently the chief materials manager (south eastern railway), was on study leave upto July 15.
Coming out against the purported letter, Bihar Bharatiya Janata Party president Sushil Kumar Modi had charged Buta Singh with being 'hand-in-glove' with Lalu Prasad and running the state administration 'at the latter's behest.'

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