Former RJD MP Mohammad Shahabuddin, after being released from jail earlier on Saturday, praised Lalu Prasad Yadav effusively. He said Lalu was his leader “forever” while Bihar Chief Minister and JDU chief Nitish Kumar was a ‘leader of circumstances.’
“Nitish Kumar is a leader of circumstances but Lalu Yadav is my leader forever,” he said.
It’s ironical. When Shahabuddin went to jail in 2005, Nitish and Lalu were on opposite ends of the political spectrum in Bihar. They could not see eye to eye. But today, they share an alliance in Bihar after coming together last year in a bid to vanquish the BJP.
Shahabuddin was released from Bhagalpur jail after 11 years as Patna High Court granted him bail in the Rajiv Raushan murder case. Rajiv was the prime witness in the case of brutal murder of his two brothers in Shahabuddin’s native village in Siwan district on August 16, 2004.
Shahabuddin, who is a member of RJD National Committee – the top decision making body of the party- and is known to be close to the RJD chief, said categorically that he never enjoyed good relations with Kumar.
Various pending cases against Shahabuddin were reopened and he was sent to jail after Kumar had assumed power in 2005.
He also said that he had people’s support with him. “I do not need to change my image, I got people’s support because of what I did in 26 years,” he said.
Shahabuddin’s supporters, including over a dozen ruling Rashtriya Janata Dal legislators and former ministers, have planned a grand welcome on his release. On release, Shahabuddin told reporters that, “We all know I was framed. But it was Court who jailed me, Court has released me,” reported news agency ANI.
BJP alleged that the Bihar government in a systematic manner paved the way for the release of RJD strongman Mohammad Shahabuddin from jail. But Shahabuddin denied any kind of political involvement in his bail.
“This has got nothing to do with politics, judicial has its own procedures,” said Mohammad Shahabuddin
Shahabuddin’s wife Hina Sahab had told reporters in Siwan Thursday that she had been waiting for his release since 2003 and had full faith in God that he will be released soon.
(with inputs from Santosh Singh)