RJD chief Lalu Prasad on Tuesday said the decision of the Patna High Court on the caste survey in the state is in the interest of the poor and that it will benefit all sections of society. Rejecting a bunch of petitions challenging the caste survey, the court upheld it as "perfectly valid" and "initiated with due competence".
"The Patna HC's decision to dismiss all pleas challenging the Bihar government's move to conduct a caste-based survey in the state is the victory of the poor and economically disadvantaged groups. The exercise will be beneficial for all sections of the society," Prasad told reporters with his son, Deputy CM Tejashwi Prasad Yadav, by his side.
"The survey report will help the government in better implementation of welfare schemes for the socially and economically disadvantaged groups," he added. Prasad, the former chief minister of the state, also said that CM Nitish Kumar and the deputy CM deserve appreciation for undertaking the exercise.
"We have been in favour of the caste survey right from the beginning. The exercise will provide data to the government for carrying out works for the benefit of weaker sections of society," he said. The survey was ordered last year and began earlier this year.
A division bench comprising Chief Justice K Vinod Chandran and Justice Partha Sarathy, which had reserved its judgement on July 7, said in its 101-page-long verdict, "We find the action of the state to be perfectly valid, initiated with due competence, with the legitimate aim of providing development with justice."
When journalists asked the veteran leader about the ED attaching assets worth more than Rs 6 crore belonging to his family in connection with the alleged land-for-railway jobs scam, Tejashwi intervened, stating, "There is nothing surprising at all."
"Earlier, the investigating agencies were talking about Rs 6,000 crore then they started talking about Rs 600 crore and now, they have provisionally attached assets of Rs 6 crore. So, the BJP-led government at the Centre and its agencies have been totally exposed. People can easily check the details of the properties belonging to our family. All details are available online," he said.
The ED on Monday said it has attached assets worth more than Rs 6 crore belonging to Lalu Prasad's family -- his wife Rabri Devi, daughter Misa Bharti and linked companies -- as part of its money laundering investigation against them.
A provisional order under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) was issued to attach the six immovable assets in Patna, Ghaziabad (Uttar Pradesh) and a four-storey bungalow in the posh New Friends Colony area of south Delhi, the agency said in a statement.