New Delhi: Every passing day is making Bihar's political scenario more and more speculative. Is Nitish-Lalu romance over?
This speculation was always there but it gained momentum when Nitish Kumar went forward to declare his support for BJP's presidential candidate RamNath Kovind.
On two earlier occasions also he was seen supporting Narendra Modi. One on the India's surgical strike on Pakistan and the other on demonetisation.
The attraction towards the BJP was slow and steady and the writing was there on the wall.
But the million dollar question is that if Nitish Kumar accepted to go with Lalu in 2015 when the Supreme Court gave final consent to the charges of corruption in fodder case and finally Lalu lost his LokSabha seat and was debarred from contesting elections for next six years then why will he mind CBI and Income Tax raids on Lalu and family.
A day after the CBI carried out raids at over 12 places of RJD chief Lalu Prasad, the ED on Saturday conducted raids at three different properties owned by his daughter Misa Bharti in connection with an over Rs 1,000-crore benami (proxy) land deals case.
"We have conducted raids at three places including Ghitorani, Sainik Farms and Bijwasan belonging to Bharti and her husband Shailesh Kumar," an ED official said.
ED officials refuted that they had questioned Bharti at her residence here.
The ED is investigating a 'benami' land deals case allegedly involving family members of Lalu Prasad on the basis of an Income Tax department case.
On Friday, the CBI carried out raids at the residences of Lalu Prasad, his wife Rabri and son Tejashwi Yadav, who is also Bihar Deputy Chief Minister, for allegedly receiving a three-acre plot of land as a pay-off in leasing two railway hotels to a private company when he was the Railways Minister.
Lalu Prasad denied the charges and dubbed the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) raids a political conspiracy done at the behest of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led central government.
On June 21, Income Tax (IT) officials interrogated Bharti for five hours in connection with the benami land case.
Earlier, the department attached over 12 properties of her relatives, including husband Shailesh Kumar, and brothers Tejashwi Yadav and Tej Pratap Yadav - both ministers in the Bihar cabinet -- under the Benami Transactions Act, 1988.
The IT Department had attached two assets of Lalu Prasad's kin in Delhi and several properties in Bihar after the department issued a provisional order under the 1988 act, which came into force on November 1, 2016.
On May 22, the ED arrested a chartered accountant, Rajesh Kumar Agrawal, allegedly linked to Bharti, from Delhi.
News24Bureau and Agencies