With Lalu Prasad in jail after his conviction in the multi-crore fodder scam case, his wife Rabri Devi on Monday said she and her son will run the RJD "as Sonia Gandhi and Rahul are guiding the Congress".
Lalu Prasad is escorted out of court after a hearing in Ranchi. AFP photo
Asked about impact of the court order on Rashtriya Janata Dal's future, Rabri, who has had three stints as chief minister of Bihar, said she and her son would run the party in the absence of Lalu Prasad "as he had created the party and nourished it".
"As Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi are guiding Congress, which their ancestors had created so too we will provide strength to RJD to keep it strong," she said after the CBI court at Ranchi delivered its verdict.
54-year-old Rabri Devi has two sons - Tej Pratap and Tejaswi Yadav, who had accompanied Lalu Prasad to Ranchi for the crucial court proceeding on Monday and is being looked upon as the heir apparent.
"Rabri Devi is our leader. She is still there to guide us," party secretary general Ramkripal Yadav said after the court verdict.
Rabri Devi had been pushed into forefront of Bihar politics in 1997 when she became the chief minister of the state, having been chosen by Prasad to replace him after he relinquished the post in the wake of fodder scam.
She had served as the chief minister again from 1999 for about a year and then again from 2000-2005.
Asked about the role Tejaswi will play, Ramkripal said the party would decide the future role of leaders.
Senior RJD leader Prabhunath Singh said that party workers have faith in Lalu Prasad so they will continue to work with the same dedication even in his absence.
READ: Lalu convicted in fodder scam: who said what