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Last Updated: Tuesday, 17 May, 2005, 10:54 GMT 11:54 UK
Graft charge for Indian minister
Railways Minister Laloo Prasad Yadav
Mr Yadav has denied any wrongdoing
A court in India has charged a senior cabinet minister with embezzling funds worth more than $600,000.

India's Railway Minister, Laloo Prasad Yadav, is said to have diverted the money from the Bihar state treasury when he was chief minister in 1990s.

This is the second time Mr Yadav has been charged in connection with what has become known as the fodder scam.

State funds to buy animal fodder were alleged to have been siphoned off. Mr Yadav denies the charges.

Mr Yadav is a key member of India's coalition government.

Last month he was charged by another court for allegedly siphoning off $8.5m.

India's Central Bureau of Investigation has filed some 60 cases in connection with the investigations and Mr Yadav figures in seven of them.

Resisting pressure

Last month, the government turned down opposition demands that Mr Yadav should resign from government, saying he was innocent until proven guilty.

Under Indian law, politicians are barred from office only if convicted of a crime.

Mr Yadav is one of India's most controversial and colourful politicians. His troubles began in 1996 when government auditors discovered that state funds were missing in Bihar.

His wife, Rabri Devi, was installed as chief minister after he stepped down in the wake of the allegations.

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30 Apr 04 |  South Asia
Profile: Laloo Prasad Yadav
22 Mar 04 |  South Asia
Bihar politician back in jail
21 Dec 01 |  South Asia
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26 Nov 01 |  South Asia
Laloo Prasad taken into custody
05 Apr 00 |  South Asia

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