RJD Chief Lalu Prasad will appeal in the Jharkhand High Court against his conviction in a fodder scam case,his family said today and alleged he had fallen victim to ‘conspiracy’ by his rivals.
“We’ll appeal in the High Court. We have full faith in the judiciary,” Prasad’s son Tejeswi Yadav told reporters in Ranchi.
“It’s a conspiracy and we’ll also go to the the people’s court and answer those elements,who have targeted our leader,in the upcoming election,” he said.
In Patna,Prasad’s wife and former Bihar Chief Minister Rabri Devi said they do not accept him as guilty. “We do not accept him (Prasad) as guilty,” Rabri,who remained inside her official residence at 10 Circular Road in the Bihar capital throughout the day told a section of the media a little after after the CBI court at Ranchi delivered its verdict.
The gates of her residence,which is only a stone’s throw from that of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar,were closed since morning and the house wore a deserted look. “We will go to ‘janata ki adalat’ (people’s court) to seek justice for the RJD president,” she said adding her husband had fallen victim to ‘opposition conspiracy’.”CBI and police searched our house,in-law’s house and other places. But did they find any money earned out of fodder scam?
“Does a chief minister draw any money from treasury ? Is it not done by officials? … A chief minister gets the budget passed in the assembly and does not himself withdraw from the treasury,” said Rabri Devi,who had replaced Prasad as CM in 1997 when he relinquished the post before going to jail in the fodder scam case.
She had served as the chief minister again from 1999 for about a year and then again from 2000-2005. She,however,refused to name the ‘conspirators’ saying,”Everybody knows them.” “Leaders like Nitish Kumar and Shivanand Tiwari are in seats of power despite indulging in corruption,” Rabri Devi,now an MLC,alleged.
Senior RJD leader Raghuvansh Prasad said the party would always be with Prasad. The special CBI court of Pravas Kumar Singh has set October three to pronounce the quantum of sentence to the former Bihar chief minister who faces a maximum of 10 years in jail.
Asked about impact of the court order on RJD’s future,Rabri Devi said she and her son would run the party in the absence of Lalu Prasad “as he had created the party and nourished it”.
Rabri Devi has two sons Tej Pratap and Tejaswi Yadav,the younger son who had accompanied Lalu Prasad to Ranchi for the crucial court proceeding today and is being looked upon as the heir apparent. She said Prasad had gone to jail earlier. “Then too we had overcome his loss and the party remained strong.”
Many media persons were politely turned away along with other visitors by security personnel deployed outside her residence.
Earlier,RJD Secretary General Ramkripal Yadav had said Rabri Devi would guide the party. “Rabri Devi is our leader. She is there to guide us,” Yadav,Rajya Sabha MP and close confidante of Lalu Prasad,told PTI. The RJD office too wore a deserted look with only a handful of party workers.
Lalu Prasad’s estranged brother-in-law Anirudh Prasad alias Sadhu Yadav was among those who went to Ranchi to be with him in the “difficult time”.”I was there with him in the court as well when he was going to jail,” Sadhu Yadav told PTI over phone.He said he went there due to “family responsibility in the difficult time”.
“When trouble falls on a family it is the duty of each and every member to stand together and I did the same…Itis purely guided by family ties and no politics should be seen in my presence,” he added.
Sadhu Yadav was a prominent face of RJD when it was in power in Bihar but was removed from the party before 2009 general elections. He had joined Congress after that and unsuccessfully contested the last Lok Sabha polls from Bettiah on its ticket.