Bihar politician and Rajya Sabha MP of the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), Ashfaq Karim’s residence was raided by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Wednesday, August 24, in connection with an alleged land-for-job scam. The raid at his residence followed after the federal agency also raided the houses of several other RJD leaders on the same day, like MLCs Sunil Singh and Subodh Roy as well as MP Fayaz Ahmed.

The raid was conducted on the same day when the Bihar government, led by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, is due for a floor test to prove its majority in the state Legislative Assembly. The RJD is also part of the state government currently after CM Nitish Kumar broke all ties with the NDA, led by BJP, in August 2022 and joined hands with the RJD to create a new government.

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Who is Ashfaq Karim?

A Rajya Sabha MP for the RJD, Ahmad Ashfaque Karim is also a businessman and entrepreneur from Katihar, Bihar. He is also a social service worker.

The 56-year-old politician has a bachelor’s degree in Pharmacy from Magadh University in Gaya, which he received in 1987. Following his undergraduate studies, Ashfaq Karim pursued a master’s degree in Pharmacy as well, before receiving a PhD from the same university in 2016.

Karim was the vice-president of the Lok Janshakti Party and later won a seat in the 2010 State Assembly elections from the Katihar constituency of the Lok Sabha. Two years later, he founded Kosi Bedari Morcha, which is an organisation that works for the special status of eight districts of Bihar in the Kosi division.

The RJD leader is the founder and chairman of Al-Karim Educational Trust in Patna as well as the founding chancellor of Al-Karim University in Katihar. Apart from these, Karim was also the founder chairman and Managing Director of the Katihar Medical College.

He was arrested in 2013 from his house on suspicion of accepting bribes from applicants looking to enrol at the Katihar Medical College. The police also seized 2.5 crore INR from his residence and car in addition to medical mark sheets as well as answer sheets. Apart from these, a currency counting machine was also found in his home and a rifle, which was without a license.

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He was handed a jail term under several sections of the IPC after being charged under the Arms Act 1959 for possessing an unlicensed firearm.

Upon finishing his jail term, he was announced as an RJD candidate for the Rajya Sabha elections in 2018. He won the election unopposed.

According to MyNeta, Karim has a total asset of more than 47 crores.