PATNA: A day after Rashtriya Janta Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad Yadav was sentenced to three-and-a-half years of imprisonment in a second case related to the multi-crore fodder scam, he suffered a personal loss when his elder and only sister Gangotri Devi passed away on Sunday morning due to "extreme trauma" over his jail sentence.
Yadav, 69, who is lodged in Birsa Munda Central Jail in Ranchi, was deeply saddened by the news of his sister’s death. Yadav’s wife and ex-CM Rabri Devi and their two sons – Bihar Opposition leader Tejaswi Yadav and former health minister Tej Pratap Yadav – made arrangements for Gangotri Devi’s body to be carried to her native village in Gopalganj district.
“She had prayed for Laluji’s release from jail all day on Saturday. She was very shocked to learn in the evening that he was sentenced to a jail term at an advanced age. She could not bear the news and died,” said a grieving Rabri Devi.
The septuagenarian Gangotri Devi, who had lost her husband in 2010 and her eldest son in 2016, was still living in the peon’s quarter of Patna Veterinary College, where Yadav used to live with his children before becoming Bihar's CM in 1990. He also lived there for six months after becoming CM and held several cabinet meetings on the cramped premises. After his graduation, Yadav had worked as a clerk at the veterinary college, where his elder brother worked as a peon.
“We are not going to seek parole for Lalujee. We will apply for regular bail at Jharkhand High Court on Monday,” said his aide and MLC Bhola Yadav. “We have full faith that he would get bail,” said Tejaswi Yadav.
Yadav has been assigned a gardener’s duties at the jail and, as per the jail manual, would get a daily wage of Rs 93 for his work. Sources said he and other 15 convicts of the Rs 1,000-crore fodder scam could be shifted to the open jail at Hazaribagh in the next two days.