Storm over bribe phone calls ends Lalu Prasad’s VIP bungalow stay
Incarcerated RJD chief Lalu Prasad was on Thursday shifted from the Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS) director’s bungalow to the paying ward of the medical institute, two days after BJP leaders in Bihar alleged that RJD chief phoned BJP legislators in an attempt to topple the NDA government and influence the Speaker’s election.
With the Jharkhand BJP cornering the Hemant Soren-led JMM-Congress-RJD government alleging that the RJD chief was flouting jail manual and using mobile phones from the director’s bungalow, inspector general (IG) (prisons) Birendra Bhushan had ordered an inquiry into it.
Bhushan though confirmed that the RJD chief has been shifted to the ward and added that only RIMS authorities could comment on it further.
“The decision was not taken at our level. RIMs authorities could explain the reason better if any health condition required his shifting in the ward,” said Bhushan.
On the inquiry he ordered on Wednesday, Bhushan said he was yet to receive a report from the jail authorities. RIMs authorities could not be reached immediately for their comment.
The former Bihar chief minister has been languishing in jail since December 23, 2017, after his conviction in three fodder scam cases in quick succession. He is currently under treatment in custody here at RIMS. In August, he was shifted to the hospital’s director’s bungalow due to covid-19 spread.
Prasad has already secured bail in two cases. He moved bail application in the third and last case in the Jharkhand high court, which has fixed November 27 to hear the case.
The latest controversy surrounding Prasad arose after Bihar’s former deputy chief minister and BJP leader Sushil Modi alleged that Prasad was attempting to topple the elected Bihar government. On Wednesday, he also tweeted an audio clip, purportedly of Prasad talking to a BJP legislator on phone.
“Lalu Yadav making telephone call (8051216302) from Ranchi to NDA MLA & promising ministerial berths. When I telephoned, Lalu directly picked up. I said don’t do these dirty tricks from jail, you will not succeed,” Modi said in his tweet.
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