At 6 a.m. daily, clad in his white kurta pyjama, the 39-year-old steps out of his 12-by-10 square feet room to stand in queue and be counted with the rest of the prisoners at a Tihar jail ward.
Three hours later, Madhu Koda, former Jharkhand Chief Minister, is attending Parliament. Member of Parliament from Chaibasa, he is in jail facing charges in one of the biggest scams in the country. His day is divided into two equal but contrasting halves.
When Koda leaves Tihar jail at nine in the morning, he is frisked by armed sentries of the Tamil Nadu police posted at the gates. When he reaches Parliament, the security at the gates greets him and lets him straight through.
When he returns to his 'home' around 9 p.m., he is frisked again. His transport is a highly visible blue police van, accompanied by three Delhi Armed Police escorts, that takes him right up to Parliament House.
After striding through the air-conditioned corridors of power during the day, Koda returns to Ward No. 9 of Sub-Jail No. 1 and sleeps, without a pillow, on the damp floor of his cell at night. Sources in Tihar say Koda leads a rule-bound, peaceful life in his solitary cell which has an attached bathroom, a toilet and a small television set.
He had moved the Jharkhand High Court to get permission to attend Parliament.
“He participated enthusiastically in the Independence Day celebrations, though he doesn't mix much with other inmates,” said the source.