As Lalu Prasad was sentenced to five years in prison on Thursday,his family in Patna showed no visible signs of either defiance or disappointment,and did not appear to be in a hurry to address the public.
Former chief minister Rabri Devi did not come out of her official 10 Circular Road residence,but was learnt to be calm,and met RJD leaders Kanti Singh,Vina Shahi and Raghunath Jha.
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Lalus aide and Rajya Sabha MP Ramkripal Yadav and RJDs media in-charge Randhir Yadav spoke to reporters after returning from Ranchi. Lalu Prasad is a hero and will remain a hero in future too, Ramkripal quoted Rabri as having said.
Ramkripal also said that Rabri had said that Lalu was a victim of a conspiracy by the BJP and Chief Minister Nitish Kumar. We were expecting this… We are not demoralised, Ramkripal said.
Behind the shut green gates of the family residence,Tej Pratap Yadav,the eldest son of Lalu and Rabri,was seen speaking animatedly with leaders of the RJDs youth wing. At one point,the youths,including some of Tejs childhood friends,raised their hands,apparently in a gesture of solidarity with him.
Anand Yadav,who said he had been Tejs friend for 12 years,said: Tej has asked us to take heart,re-group and start visiting villages to seek the peoples support. Youths from Maner,Danapur and Bihta had come.
The meeting of the RJDs district units will take place as scheduled on Friday in Patna. Posters for the meet have pictures of Lalu,Rabri and their sons Tej and Tejaswi. Rabri has called an emergency meeting of the RJD leadership on Sunday.
Ramkripal recounted stories of Lalus rise from a student leader to becoming the greatest mass leader of recent times. The RJD begins with Laluji and ends with him, he said.
Some small-time RJD leaders standing around discussed the repercussions of Lalu losing his Lok Sabha seat. Most wondered if,and how,he might get out of prison. A Muslim leader announced he would organize groups to pray for Lalus release.
RJD cries conspiracy,blames Nitish,BJP
After the sentencing of RJD chief Lalu Prasad in the fodder scam,the party launched its counter attack and blamed Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and the BJP for having conspired against Lalu. The RJD also took on the Congress for recalling the ordinance on convicted legislators saying their party would bounce back and was not a beggar (for alliance).
RJD Rajya Sabha MP and confidante of Lalu Prasad,Ramkripal Yadav,said: We had expected this sentence. Lalujis conviction is part of a political conspiracy by Nitish Kumar and BJP. Laluji was the biggest political force till 2005 and Nitishji was desperate to become Chief Minister.
He said the party would go to appellate courts to seek legal relief for Lalu. Then there is peoples court. We will go and tell them how fodder scam kingpin S B Sinha had given statement on the involvement of JD(U) leaders, said Yadav. We will play up conspiracy stories to re-group our voters,who have been very aggressive. Those who think that Laluji has walked into sunset should redo their calculations, he said.
Commenting on the UPA government recalling the ordinance,Yadav said RJD had nothing to do with it. They have felt the necessity to do this (clean up drive of politics) now. Everyone knows who ruled the country for maximum time and did what. We are not beggars and RJD exists on its strength. We will bounce back and show it to all, he said. He,however,conceded that it was a mistake not to align with Congress in 2009 Lok Sabha and 2010 Assembly polls.