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HindustanTimes Sat,25 Oct 2014

Lalu out on bail, trains guns on Narendra Modi, BJP

B Vijay Murty, Hindustan Times  New Delhi/Ranchi, December 16, 2013
First Published: 14:02 IST(16/12/2013) | Last Updated: 09:29 IST(17/12/2013)

Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad on Monday walked out of jail after 76 days, vowing to defeat the “political Modis” and finding a metaphor for his imprisonment in the life of Lord Krishna.

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Lalu was sent to jail for five years in a fodder scam case by the CBI court in Ranchi on September 30 but was granted bail by the Supreme Court on Friday.

“I am a free man now…,” a smiling Lalu said as he walked out of the Birsa Munda Central jail, which he referred to as Lord Krishna’s birthplace.

He drew heavily from mythology to lay out his future course of action.

“I will travel the whole of Hastinapur (read India) to keep the divisive and communal forces on check.”

Hastinapur, in present-day Uttar Pradesh, was the capital of several royal dynasties of Indian history as well as mythology, including the Pandavas in the epic Mahabharata.

The former Bihar chief minister mentioned that even Lord Krishna’s destruction of Kansh, his evil maternal uncle, had its beginnings in a prison cell.

Read: Lalu to offer prayers at Deori after release on bail

Read: His rivals wanted to shut him out of Bihar politics, but failed, says Rabri Devi

Once an agnostic who had even claimed to be an atheist in the past, Lalu’s new-found reverence for Lord Krishna is said to be due to extensive reading of the Gita during his stay in jail.

A couple of days after being convicted, his senior party colleague Raghuvansh Prasad Singh had gifted him a copy of the Gita.

Jail authorities said Lalu had started preaching the teachings of Lord Krishna and even asking fellow-inmates to follow the path of righteousness written in the holy book, which consist of Lord Krishna’s sermons to Arjuna during the battle of Kurukshetra in the Mahabharata.

Referring to BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi and senior BJP leader in Bihar Sushil Modi, Lalu termed the “Modi mania” a farce and claimed that all “political Modis” would soon suffer defeat in their misadventures. Lalu, dressed in traditional kurta-pyjama and a blue half sweater, was accompanied by his son Tejaswi and few RJD leaders.

He headed straight to the Birsa Munda statue at the entrance, offered prayers and addressed media personnel waiting for him since morning.

Lalu was convicted along with 44 persons by the Special CBI Court of Prabhat Kumar Singh on September 30 in the fodder scam case no RCA20/96 pertaining to fraudulent withdrawal of Rs. 37.70 crores from the Chaibasa treasury during his tenure as chief minister of Bihar.

On October 3 the court had pronounced a five-year prison term and slapped Rs. 25 lakh as fine on him.

After the Jharkhand high court rejected his bail plea, Lalu moved the apex court and obtained bail on Friday.

Lalu also thanked his party workers for remaining united after his conviction and expressed gratitude towards the judiciary which, he said, did justice to him all the time.

“The CBI has been very unfair with me,” he said, accusing the agency for having made him suffer for over a year in jail in different cases related to the fodder scam.

On his experience in the jail, Lalu said it was friendly and pleasant. “The jail sentence has not deterred me at all. Jo jail se darega, wo kuch nahi karega (He who fears jail will not be able to do anything),” he said.

On the Congress disaster in four states that went to polls recently, Lalu said victory and defeat are part of elections.

“We are open to join hands with all democratic and non-communal parties.”

Read: Lalu Prasad gets 5 years in jail, stands disqualified


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