Sick Lalu leaves Ranchi for AIIMS in New Delhi, travels by train as Jharkhand government rejects his wish for flying
Lalu who has so far been convicted in four fodder scam cases and lodged in jail since December last, boarded the Ranchi-New Delhi Rajdhani Express along with his aides.
PATNA: RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav left Ranchi for New Delhi on Wednesday evening aiming to get better treatment at All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS). He travelled by train as Jharkhand’s home department rejected his wish to travel by plane.
The 69-year-old former Bihar chief minister, who has so far been convicted in four fodder scam cases and lodged in jail since December last, boarded the Ranchi-New Delhi Rajdhani Express along with his aides. He was brought to the railway station amid high security from Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS) in Ranchi, where he was under treatment for a host of complications since March 17.
Hundreds of Yadav’s supporters had reached Ranchi railway station to see off Yadav, who looked unwell and did not speak to journalists or his supporters. Two police officials and an eight-member team of armed police constables accompanied him in one of the AC first-class coaches of the train, which left Ranchi at 6:15 PM on a 15-hour journey. Several former RJD legislators also travelled in the same train to Delhi, said sources.
Although Yadav had written a letter to Jharkhand’s IG (prisons) seeking for permission to take a flight to New Delhi along with an aide at his own cost, permission was granted only for train travel. A panel of RIMS doctors examining him had recommended two days ago that he be shifted to a “better hospital outside Jharkhand” for a thorough assessment of his health condition and suitable treatment.
CBI special court judge Pradip Kumar, who is presiding over an ongoing trial in another fodder scam case involving Yadav, approved the recommendation for travel placed before him by authorities of Birsa Munda Central Jail at Hotwar near Ranchi.
“We are travelling to New Delhi by train at our own cost. The Jharkhand government denied Lalujee permission to travel by plane. The government’s attitude has been uncooperative from the beginning,” said Yadav’s close aide and MLC Bhola Yadav, who travelling in the same coach as the RJD chief.
Lalu, who also served as railway minister in the UPA-I government, has been suffering from diabetes, hypertension and cardiac ailments for the last several years. Despite his blood sugar levels staying abnormally high, he has been unwilling to take insulin injections, said RIMS sources. He underwent an open heart surgery in August 2014.
The RJD chief has been handed jail terms totaling 27 years and a half in the four fodder scam cases in which he has been convicted.