PATNA: With a senior Congress leader on Monday meeting RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav in a jail near Ranchi where he is lodged, Bihar’s ruling JD(U) jeered at Congress president Rahul Gandhi, asking him when he plans to visit the jail to meet his ally.
In an open letter dripping with sarcasm, two JD(U) leaders reminded Gandhi of his duties as an ally of RJD to “meet and console Yadav” in his time of crisis. JD(U) spokespersons and MLCs Sanjay Singh and Neeraj Kumar also reminded Gandhi of his recent lunch with Yadav’s younger son and Bihar Opposition leader Tejaswi Yadav at a New Delhi hotel.
Senior Jharkhand Congress leader and former Union minister Subodh Kant Sahay met the RJD chief at Birsa Munda Central Jail at Hotwar near Ranchi. “The Opposition parties will come together in an alliance in the upcoming Assembly polls and unseat BJP from power. Lalu Prasad Yadav is among the few leaders who fought against BJP in the strongest manner,” said Sahay after the meeting.
JD(U), which ruled Bihar in alliance with RJD and Congress for 20 months till parting ways to ally again with BJP in July 2017, promptly used Sahay’s meeting with Yadav as a handle to beat Congress. Few leaders of Bihar Congress have openly spoken in support of Yadav after he was convicted in a fodder scam case on December 23 and sentenced to three years and a half in jail on January 6.
“The leader of your ally RJD is now serving his jail term as prisoner number 3351 after being convicted in the nation’s most infamous scam. Not meeting him so far to console him at this time is against the principles written by Chanakya,” said the letter the two JD(U) leaders addressed to Gandhi.
For JD(U), the day was loaded with positive political vibes as the party’s national president and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar was presented the first Mufti Mohammad Sayeed Award for Probity in Public Life by the Jammu and Kashmir government in Jammu.
Pointing at Gandhi’s dilemma about the alliance with RJD, the two JD(U) leaders also reminded him of how in September 2013 he had angrily torn off a copy of the UPA government’s proposed ordinance aimed at protecting convicted politicians from disqualification from elected office. The UPA government had brought the ordinance just days after Yadav was convicted in a fodder scam case for the first time.
“If Lalu were a thief, he would be in BJP, not in jail,” said a tweet posted in Yadav’s account by RJD, which considers his conviction as “injustice and result of political conspiracy”. The RJD chief’s elder and only sister, Gangotri Devi, who died on Sunday, was cremated in her village in Gopalganj district on Monday.