PATNA: After the exposé of a purported telephonic conversation between RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav and jailed criminal-turned-politician Mohammad Shahabuddin, the two political stalwarts in the eye of a political storm — Yadav and Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar— have not come out with a response.
However, a senior RJD leader who met Yadav at his residence said that telephonic conversations between prisoners in jail and politicians are a common matter in Bihar.
“If anyone claims that nobody talks over phone with people lodged in Bihar’s jails, then there are no bigger liars than such people. Top politicians talk… I have personal knowledge that even High Court judges talk,” said former Rajya Sabha member Shivanand Tiwary.He also defended Yadav on the controversy that arose after the release of an audio tape by a television news channel on Saturday.
“He (Shahabuddin) was talking about a serious matter. He was saying there was likelihood of a riot… What is wrong in it if he was conveying such an important matter?” said Tiwary.
Sources said Yadav, who did not step out of his residence, categorically asked senior RJD leaders to make sure the audio tape expose should not heighten the bitterness between the two main allies in the State government – RJD and JD (U).
However, some RJD leaders did raise concerns. “There should be a probe to find out who recorded the tape. This shows that telephonic conversations of senior leaders of the ruling alliance are being recorded,” said RJD leader Ramanuj Prasad.
JD(U) spokesperson Sanjay Singh responded by saying, “Why would the State government record conversations of Lalu Prasad Yadav, who is a respected senior leader of the alliance?”