Suspended RJD MLA Rajballabh Yadav on Thursday met party chief Lalu Prasad -- a day before the Supreme Court is scheduled to hear the Bihar government’s appeal for the cancellation of his bail in the rape case of a minor. The ‘secret’ meeting between the two has sent tongues wagging in the state, with JD(U) asking RJD, its alliance partner, to follow the ‘morality of alliance.’
Emerging from the meeting at 10 Circular Road residence of former chief minister Rabri Devi where he met the RJD president, Rajballabh denied seeking favours from Prasad. “I just went to greet him for Durga Puja. I didn’t ask for any help from him with regard to case. I have full faith in the judiciary,” he told the media.
The visit had lasted nearly two hours.
There was no word from Lalu Prasad on the meeting. The office at Rabri Devi’s house also maintained it was a usual courtesy visit.
Yadav, an MLA from Nawada, denied rape allegations against him, saying that he had been falsely implicated.
“There is no serious charge against me. There is no FIR or statement of the victim under 164 CRPC against me.”
He told journalists that he had no complaint against the state government for going against his bail in the apex court. “I don’t have any grudge against (chief minister) Nitish Kumar. There is a system in government…. Nitish Kumar has not gone to the Supreme Court... the government has. Government works according to a system. Why are you (mediapersons) raising questions about the system?” he asked.
The three-term RJD MLA was suspended from the party in the wake of the rape allegation. The purported victim, a resident of Rahui in Nalanda, alleged rape at the MLA’s house under Mufassil police station on February 6.
He was arrested but got bail from the Patna high court last Friday.
The Bihar government has moved the Supreme Court challenging the bail and the court has listed the matter for hearing on Friday.
However, Thursday’s meeting appeared to have hurt the JD(U), which advised its alliance leaders to stop ‘Ganesh Parikarma’ (leader worship).
“Moral values have an important place in any alliance. Making round of political masters will not do any good to a tainted person. The rule of law is the USP of the Nitish Kumar government,” said JD(U) spokesperson and MLC Neeraj Kumar.
However, deputy chief minister Tejaswi Prasad Yadav told reporters that the government was doing its duty and it is up to the court to see if the accused MLA is guilty. “Let us leave the matter to the court to decide,” Tejaswi Yadav, who is also leader of RJD Legislature party in the state Assembly, said.
This is not the first time the JD(U) has sermonised the RJD over its tainted leaders in recent times. A month ago, the leaders of the two parties were locked in a verbal duel after former Siwan MP Mohammed Shahbuddin’s remark on Kumar being a ‘circumstantial chief minister’.
(With PTI inputs)