CBI official fears Laloo may tamper with file on interrogation
Tara Shankar Sahay in Delhi
The Central Bureau of Investigation's joint director (east) U N Biswas
has not yet sent details of the interrogation
of Bihar Chief Minister and Janata Dal president Laloo
Prasad Yadav to the agency's Delhi headquarters. Yadav was quizzed for nine
hours in Patna on Monday in connection with his alleged role in the Rs 10 billion
animal fodder scam.
A highly-placed CBI official told Rediff On The NeT that although
CBI Director Joginder Singh had asked Biswas to send the
crucial file from Patna to the agency's headquarters on Wednesday,
the joint director did not do so. Biswas explained to Singh that he
was still finalising papers relevant to the interrogation.
The CBI official emphasised that Biswas was
apprehensive that the Bihar chief minister would use his clout
with the United Front government to tamper with the file containing
details of his interrogation. Biswas told reporters in Patna on Tuesday
that the file would enable the CBI to frame a chargesheet against Laloo Yadav.
H D Deve Gowda dispatched his political troubleshooter,
Information and Broadcasting Minister Chand Mahal Ibrahim,
to Patna to assess the political fallout arising out of Laloo Yadav's
likely indictment in the scam.
Laloo Yadav's supporters are exerting
pressure on the Janata Dal leadership to postpone the organisational
elections scheduled for March. Although Laloo Yadav asserted
recently that he would not contest the election for the party presidency, his
allies want the organisational poll to be postponed
so that their mentor can rework his political strategy.
However, Laloo Yadav's adversaries within the party --
the prime minister, Railway Minister Ram Vilas Paswan
and Janata Dal working president Sharad Yadav -- may resist that move
and go ahead with the poll.
Though Laloo Yadav says he will not resign as Bihar's chief
minister even if the CBI files a chargesheet against him, the race
to succeed him has already begun. Among the front-runners are Abdul
Wari Siddiqui, Bihar's information and broadcasting minister
and Jayprakash Narayan Yadav, the state education minister.
Janata Dal leadership defends Laloo Yadav