Cornered by CBI, Laloo says Modi, Shah trying to destroy him

Caught unawares in a CBI case related to alleged manipulation in the award of maintenance contract of two hotels run by Indian Railways' subsidiary IRCTC when Lalau Prasad Yadav was railway minister in the UPA government, the RJD leader has come down heavily against PM Modi, BJP chief Amit Shah and the RSS for conspiring against him.

He also refuted charges of favouring Sujata Hotels through IRCTC while he was the railway minister and said the decision to hand over the hotels was taken before he took over as railway minister in 2004.

Hours after the CBI raided his premises and filed criminal conspiracy case against him on Friday, RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav got into combative mode and challenged Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJ chief Amit Shah to take action against him.

"Listen, Narendra Modi and Amit Shah...I may be hanged but before that I will uproot you and smash your arrogance to smithereens. You are trying to incite conflict in the grand alliance. We and people of Bihar understand this," Lalu asserted at a hurriedly called press conference in Patna.

"We have decided to uproot and finish the BJP. This case has nothing to do with our grand alliance...it is intact," he asserted.

"This is a conspiracy against me and my family. Modi is going towards dictatorship."

He said the raids were because he had initiated a political movement against the BJP. "On August 27, we are holding rallies in Bihar to tell the people how myself and my family are being attacked due to political vendetta," Lalu Prasad told the press in Ranchi.

Lalu Prasad refuted CBI's charge that he, as the then railway minister, was involved in the alleged manipulation in the award of contract for maintenance of two hotels run by IRCTC to Sujata Hotels, saying that the decision to hand over the hotels was taken before he took over as railway minister in 2004.

He, however, claimed the contracts for maintenance of the hotels were awarded on the basis of "open bidding" and no irregularities took place.

Lalu also criticised the CBI's action of naming his wife Rabri Devi, a former chief minister, and son Tejashwi, the current deputy chief minister, as accused in the case.

He said when the alleged irregularities took place, Rabri was not a public servant and Tejashwi was a minor.

Lalu Prasad also claimed that since the railway's catering service is an autonomous body "not a single file from it comes to the railways minister".

"I dare anybody to show that there was one file, one approval, which I gave as the Railways Minister. In 2006, some hotels were given to private parties through open tender to the highest bidder."