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Convict and Opposition leader: Two lives of RJD chief Lalu

Within 10 days of the RJD registering two electoral victories in the bypolls on March 14, Yadav was handed two convictions in cases related to the fodder scam

india Updated: Mar 25, 2018 23:27 IST
Jatin Gandhi and Anirban Guha Roy
Jatin Gandhi and Anirban Guha Roy
Hindustan Times, New Delhi/Patna
Lalu Prasad Yadav,Patna,RJD
RJD Chief and former Bihar Chief Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav arrives to appear before the special CBI Court in connection with a multi-crore fodder scam case, in Ranchi.(PTI File Photo)

Already lodged in jail and now slapped with a fresh 14-year sentence on Saturday by a special CBI court in Ranchi, Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief and former Bihar chief minister Lalu Prasad continues to call the shots within his party, a close confidante revealed on Sunday.

Within 10 days of the RJD registering two electoral victories in the bypolls on March 14, Yadav was handed two convictions in cases related to the fodder scam. Party leaders have called the CBI investigations into the case politically motivated. They said Lalu will play a pivotal role in forging an anti-BJP alliance.

Party leaders said the stream of visitors meeting the RJD boss has increased over the past few weeks, especially after the bypoll results gave his party an edge. The party won the Jehanabad assembly and the Araria Lok Sabha seats.

On Saturday, Samajwadi Party vice-president Kiranmoy Nanda met Lalu to discuss the need for opposition unity, a leader privy to the meeting said. The person added that Nanda briefed Yadav on SP and Bahujan Samaj party (BSP) unity in the UP bypoll that helped in defeating BJP candidates in Phulpur and Gorakhpur.

Nanda was deputed by SP chief Akhilesh Yadav to meet the RJD chief to discuss the formation of a grand alliance at the national level ahead of the 2019 polls, the RJD leader said.

“All of us must not forget that if there is positive churning in the Opposition, it is on account of the continuous appeal and communication from Lalu Prasad,” RJD national spokesperson Manoj K Jha said adding the party will move higher courts against the convictions.

BJP MP Shatrughan Sinha also called on Lalu describing his meeting as a courtesy call. But the meeting is not without political significance. Sinha has been vocal against his own party.

That Lalu has the final say can also be gauged from the fact that in the recently concluded Rajya Sabha polls, the names of candidates were declared only after his approval.

“Lalu-ji is the party president and the party’s key decisions are taken only after consulting him and his due guidance...” said a confidante of the RJD chief.

First Published: Mar 25, 2018 23:03 IST