Lalu Prasad brushed aside obstacles with inimitable wit and self-assurance for much of his public life, but not on Monday and definitely not in the courtroom that convicted him in a 17-year-old fodder scam case.
The Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief appeared mortal, devoid of his earthy swagger in the court of special CBI judge PK Singh.
Moments after judge Singh convicted him, Lalu was reduced to making a timid supplication.
“I was the chief minister of Bihar for two consecutive terms and a Union railway minister. Please consider awarding lesser punishment to me,” he told the judge.
The unlike-Lalu moment played out in the courtroom, as his supporters waited outside, hoping their leader would stage a roaring comeback. Unknown to the supporters, Lalu, was obedience personified inside.
If the former Bihar chief minister clutching at straws, he was doing it in front of a judge with whom, he thinks, he goes back a long way.
Judge Singh and Lalu are alumni of Patna Law College. The judge is Lalu’s junior.
During a hearing in the case on Valentine’s Day (February 14), Lalu had remembered to remind the judge of their alumni kinship.
Judge Singh will announce the punishment for Lalu through video conferencing on October 3.