iconimg Sunday, August 30, 2015

B Vijay Murty, Hindustan Times
Ranchi, October 03, 2013
Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad apparently knew that he would be sent to jail in the fodder scam.

A few days before reaching Ranchi for the judgment, he formed a core committee with 15 party leaders to take decisions in consultation with him in case he was sent to jail.

The members were carefully chosen to represent various sections, caste and community.

 “Yes, he had the strong feeling that he would be convicted and sent to jail. Hence, before coming to Ranchi for the verdict, he did his home work well, especially with regard to the day-to-day party affairs,” said a senior RJD parliamentarian.

Lalu’s son, Tejaswi Yadav has been stressing that the question of selecting a new leader doesn’t arise as long his father is alive. “We will collectively steer the RJD-ship until our popular leader gets justice and walks out of the jail,” he had said to a query on selecting the party’s acting chief.

 “He will continue to guide us and keep giving orders from the jail. There are no charges against him. He was rather a whistle blower in the case and was the first authority to initiate a probe. He is innocent and shall remain our supreme leader,” Tejaswi said.

Having being sentenced to five years of rigorous imprisonment, the RJD chief naturally stands disqualified from the membership of Lok Sabha. Prasad represents Bihar’s Chapra constituency in the Lok Sabha.

“We will appeal in the high court and am sure we will get reprieve,” Tejaswi said.

Party general secretary Ram Kripal Singh said in Ranchi after the verdict that everyone in the party was mentally prepared for the adverse verdict.