RJD, BJP cross swords over Lalu’s sentence in fodder scam case

Reacting to the toughest ever sentence awarded to Lalu Prasad in a fodder scam case, the RJD termed the CBI investigation “politically motivated” and the BJP said the law took its own course.

“It is no rocket science to see that the probe was politically motivated. I do not wish to say much about the judgment since one cannot expect a verdict to be fair and just if the investigation itself was faulty,” RJD national spokesman Manoj Jha told PTI.

He was reacting to the judgment pronounced by a CBI court in Ranchi, whereby Prasad was sentenced to 14 years in prison in a case relating to fraudulent withdrawal of money from the Dumka treasury when he was the chief minister of undivided Bihar.

The Rajya Sabha MP, however, expressed confidence that they would draw the higher court’s attention to the shortcomings in the investigation and Prasad would come out unscathed.

“Prasad is a victim of a conspiracy by political parties like the BJP, which represents the interests of those who are opposed to social justice and communal harmony,” Jha said.

He alleged that “had the CBI conducted a fair enquiry in the cases of this nature, all the big shots in the Nitish Kumar government would have been behind bars in connection with the Srijan scam by now”.

Prasad’s younger son and Leader of Opposition in the state Assembly, Tejashwi Yadav told reporters, “We apprehend a threat to Laluji’s life as he has been challenging the BJP’s hegemony and trying to unite the parties opposed to it across the country. He is innocent and he will get justice in the higher courts. The people of Bihar will give a befitting reply to those behind the conspiracy against the RJD supremo.”

Asserting that the RJD would not get cowed down by the latest development, Tejashwi said the workers of the party would work more resolutely than ever before and added that the JD(U) and the BJP would be made to bite the dust in the next election.

Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi, who was one of the petitioners in the fodder scam cases in the Patna High Court, which had ordered a CBI enquiry into the scam in 1996, said, “The law has taken its own course. The verdict is not the first one in the fodder scam cases and it should be respected by all.”

He dismissed Tejashwi’s allegation that there was a threat to his father’s life and pointed out that the RJD supremo enjoyed a foolproof security in jail.

Union minister Giriraj Singh told reporters, “As one sows so one reaps. This is the law of nature and it is futile to make a fuss over today’s verdict. The RJD workers should remember that the BJP was not in power when the fodder scam cases were lodged. Even Prasad’s first conviction came when the country was being ruled by the Congress-led UPA, of which the RJD was a part.moneycontrol


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