Recently, the Congress party faced a major embarrassment after its General Secretary zealously offered the Uttar Pradesh government 1000 buses to ferry migrant workers. The Uttar Pradesh government accepted Ms Vadra’s offer and asked the Congress party to provide the list of buses provided by Priyanka Gandhi to facilitate transportation of migrant workers. However, the registration number of the buses provided by the Congress party revealed that the list of vehicles which the party claimed to be used for carrying migrant workers contained blacklisted numbers, cars and even three-wheeled wonder autorickshaws.
This debacle where the list of buses sent by Congress General Secretary actually included blacklisted numbers, auto-rickshaws and three-wheelers are evocative of the infamous fodder scam presided over by the former Bihar Chief Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav wherein submitted forged bills to extract money from district treasuries revealed that two-wheelers were used to transport the fictitious cattle over several hundred kilometres.
Fodder scam: Scooters and two-wheelers used to transport cattle
In the 1990s while India’s economic upsurge was still in its infantile stage, a nefarious corruption scandal was underway in the state of Bihar where Lalu Prasad Yadav was the chief minister.
The scam was unearthed by then finance commissioner VS Dubey who stumbled upon financial irregularities of massive proportions while reviewing the performance of various departments of the Bihar government. He found out that money was withdrawn in excess of the allocation by some of the departments and the animal husbandry department topped the list of withdrawals.
The auditor general’s report also found prevalence of corruption. The then Bihar CM Lalu Prasad Yadav and his close associates came under the scanner of the investigative agencies as the prime accused in the scam. The CBI investigation into the matter found out that the suppliers colluding with officials enjoyed state patronage and submitted forged documents and fake bills to claim reimbursements from the animal husbandry department.
The CBI investigation showed how suppliers provided registration numbers of two-wheelers in the fake bills alleging that cattle including buffaloes were transported over hundreds of kilometres by scooters and two-wheelers. Bills bearing registration numbers of scooters were submitted for the transportation of 500 kgs of mustard oil worth Rs 15 lakh which is used to polish the horns of buffaloes.
The entire fodder scam was unravelled by Chaibasa case in which the RJD supremo Lalu Prasad Yadav was later convicted for in the case of fraudulent withdrawal of Rs 37.7 crore for procuring fodder for fictitious livestock from Chaibasa treasury by tendering fake bills.
Besides Chaibasa case, Lalu Prasad Yadav is convicted by the Supreme Court in other 3 fodder scam cases and 1 fodder scam of Rs 184 crore swindled from Doranda treasury is still pending in the court. Lalu Prasad Yadav is currently lodged in Birsa Munda Jail in Ranchi and serving a cumulative sentence of close to 27 years.