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Saturday, Sep 21, 2019

Fodder scam: Ahead of verdict, Lalu Yadav says he has faith in judiciary, will get justice like Kanimozhi, A Raja

Lalu Yadav, who heads the Rashtriya Janata Dal, was brought to a special CBI court in Ranchi on Saturday morning for the hearing of the verdict in the fodder scam.

india Updated: Dec 23, 2017 14:44 IST
Anirban Guha Roy
Anirban Guha Roy
Hindustan Times, Patna
RJD chief Lalu Prasad seen at Patna airport before leaving for Ranchi on Friday.
RJD chief Lalu Prasad seen at Patna airport before leaving for Ranchi on Friday. (PTI Photo)

Ahead of the verdict in a fodder scam case by a special CBI court in Ranchi, Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) president Lalu Prasad expressed full faith in judiciary and said the judgment would have no impact on his party.

“My sons are capable of leading the party if I am sent to jail. The RJD is a party of crores of people and they will all take care of it,” he told reporters hours before the court delivered its verdict in RC 64 (A) 1996, related to fraudulent withdrawal of Rs 90 lakh from the Deoghar treasury.

A slew of cases were filed against the former Bihar chief minister in the scam where state funds meant for buying fodder were allegedly siphoned by government officials and politicians in the state.

Lalu Prasad was found guilty in 2013 in another fodder scam case and was given a five-year prison term, disqualified from Parliament and banned from contesting elections.

He had got a bail by the Supreme Court in December that year in the case.

The RJD chief appealed to the people to maintain restrain and peace if he was sent to jail. “Every person will lead the party by acting as Lalu Prasad,” he added.

Prasad also hit out at the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), saying he would not be cowed down by its “attempts to finish his political career” and continue to fight for ouster of the saffron party from power at the Centre.

“The BJP has been conspiring against me and harassing me for the last 20 years just to weaken me. But I have full faith in the judiciary and a lot of people have got justice, be it Kanimozhi, A Raja and others. We will emerge stronger in coming days,” he said, when asked about the possibility of his jail term.

DMK leaders Kanimozhi and A Raja were acquitted by a special court on Thursday in 2G spectrum allocation case.

A large number of RJD leaders are camping in Jharkhand capital to show their solidarity with their party chief. They include RJD vice president Raghuvansh Prasad Singh, senior leader Abdul Bari Siddiqui and Prasad’s younger son Tejashwi Prasad Yadav.

The RJD chief tried to put up a brave front saying he was not scared of going to jail. “I have been incarcerated many times since 1974 JP movement. I am not scared of going to jail again,” he added.

Reagrding corruption cases filed against him and his son Tejashwi in the IRCTC hotel scam, Praasad said it was an attempt to malign his family and the charges did not have any merit. “These cases are all false and fabricated,” he said.

Talking to a regional news channel, Tejashwi said he was not at all perturbed by the possibility of his father going to jail and described it as an attempt by the BJP to frame his family in false cases. “Since my childhood, I have seen how my father has been harassed. It has made me stronger,” he said.

On corruption charges against him, Tejashwi said the fact that the CBI had not filed a charge sheet in the alleged IRCTC hotel scam case showed there was no evidence to press the allegations against him.

“It has become a fashion for the BJP to file false cases against its rivals and weaken the opposition. Why no case has been filed against BJP leaders facing corruption charges?” he asked.

The railway ministry had also not acknowledged till now that there were any discrepancies in the allotment of hotels when Prasad was the railway minister, Tejashwi said.

“We have not compromised on our principles. But chief minister Nitish Kumar compromised and switched sides. The BJP wants to press false charges against us to demoralise the opposition. But we will fight it out,” he said.

First Published: Dec 23, 2017 14:24 IST