Close on the heels of Mewalal Choudhary, the chickens seem to have come home to roost for Tejashwi Yadav too. A demand has been raised that he shouldn't be allowed to be the leader of the opposition because of his alleged involvement in several corruption and criminal cases.
His supporters will cry foul and this matter will be politicized.
However, a basic question every citizen (including the people of Tejashwi's age group) has to ponder: Can you at the age 31, with the 9th or 10th grade education, and with all known sources of inheritance, be as rich as stated in Tejashwi’s affidavit filed before the Election Commission (a requirement to contest elections)?
According to a Hindustan Times report published on 15 October 2020, Tejashwi's affidavit filed before the elections showed that his total assets were worth 5.88 crore (movable and immovable properties of Rs 4.73 crore and Rs 1.15 crore, respectively).
Tejashwi's income-tax (I-T) returns for the last financial year (2019-20) recorded his income at Rs 2.80 lakh.
In 2015, when Lalu-Rabri's second son and the nominated inheritor of his father’s party, the RJD, had made his electoral debut, he had furnished earnings of Rs 39.80 lakh.
In the affidavit, Tejashwi also showed that he had 11 cases pending against him that included seven criminal cases with charges related to money laundering, cheating and criminal conspiracy. Others were civil cases against him.
In July 2017, along with other enforcing agencies, Tejashwi had come under the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI)’s scrutiny. His other siblings and parents (the then RJD chief Lalu Prasad and Rabri Devi) were also grouped together in a corruption case.
It was a revelatory news at the time when the leaders of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), partners in the Bihar government, had brought up charges that the two Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC)-run hotels at Ranchi and Puri were awarded to private contractors in exchange of land during Lalu’s stint as the Union railway minister.
In what came to be known as the IRCTC hotel tender scam, the CBI later on, filed a case against Lalu, Rabri and Tejashwi.
Apparently, a series of corruption allegations and the CBI case against the then Deputy Chief Minister, Tejashwi Yadav had become the stated reason why Nitish Kumar resigned as the Chief Minister of the Grand Alliance (MGB) government. He had asked Tejashwi to come out clean on the charges.
When the MGB government was on the verge of collapse, there was an unsuccessful mediation attempt by Sonia Gandhi between Nitish and Tejashwi with instructions and signals from Lalu in the Ranchi jail. But the inevitable happened.
Bihar desperately needs a clean and efficient government that wouldn’t be possible with corrupt personnel sitting at the top of the political or legislative structures.
Dr. Binoy Shanker Prasad hails from Darbhanga and currently resides with his family in Dundas, Ontario (Canada). A former UGC teacher fellow (at JNU) in India and Fulbright scholar in the USA, he has taught politics and authored conference papers, articles and chapters on Bihar in previously published books in the United States, India, and Canada.
Dr. Prasad administers a Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/OverseasBihari and has sponsored “Aware Citizenship Campaign” at a micro-level in his home-town.