PATNA: Bihar’s ruling JD(U) and BJP welcomed the conviction of RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav with relish, saying he was getting the “fruits of his corrupt actions”. But RJD, despite the evident shock, refused to be dispirited and said Yadav is “an ideology and cannot be crushed”.
“Considering the mindless way Bihar’s exchequer was looted during the rule of Lalu Prasad Yadav, jail is just the right place for him,” said JD(U) spokesperson and MLC Neeraj Kumar. “Even after facing trial for the fodder scam, he learnt no lessons and continued amassing wealth for his family illegally. Those cases will also result in similar conviction,” he added.
Deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi of BJP, who was one of the three leaders who had filed a petition in Patna High Court in 1996 seeking CBI probe into the fodder scam, described the conviction as a logical conclusion of the Rs 1,000-crore fodder scam. “As you sow, so you reap. If you plant a babul tree, how will you get mangoes? This had to happen,” he tweeted.
जो बोया वो पाया !बोया पेड़ बबूल का तो आम कहाँ से होई ।यह तो होना ही था ।— Sushil Kumar Modi (@SushilModi) December 23, 2017
Yadav’s younger son and Opposition leader in Bihar Assembly, Tejaswi Yadav, accused “BJP and Nitish Kumar” of having worked together to ensure the RJD chief’s conviction. Sushil Modi, however, rejected the charge, saying Lalu’s previous conviction in the scam came in 2013, when Congress-led UPA was in power at the Centre.
RJD leaders also put a casteist spin over Lalu’s conviction and the acquittal of Jagannath Mishra, an upper-caste Brahmin unlike Yadav, who hails from an OBC group.
“The message has gone across the nation today. Jail for Lalu Yadav, and bail for Jagannath Mishra,” said close Lalu aide and former Union minister Raghuvansh Prasad Singh after the verdict came. Shakti Singh Yadav, a senior RJD legislator, said: “If Lalujee’s name were Pandit Lalu Mishra, he would have been acquitted today”.
Senior RJD leader Shivanand Tiwari, who had filed the PIL in the HC with Sushil Modi, regretted having done so. “Today I regret for doing that. It was a huge mistake. I notice a continuing conspiracy to crush the voices of the downtrodden,” said Tiwari, who was earlier with JD(U).
Bihar CM and JD(U) president Nitish Kumar maintained stiff silence on Lalu’s conviction.