Lalu Prasad Yadav on Sunday left for Ranchi,where a court is to declare its verdict in a fodder scam case,putting up a calm front and keeping the media and talk about the case at bay.
Only scheduled to catch the afternoon flight to Ranchi,the RJD president left the Patna 10,Circular Road,residence around 11 am with a tilak on his forehead,accompanied by younger son and heir apparent Tejaswi. He left for his Danapur gaushala (cowshed),evidently to escape the media around the house.
Later,Lalu,Tejaswi,former leader of the Opposition Abdul Bari Siddiquei,Rajya MP Ramkripal Yadav,former minister and MP M A A Fatmi and five legislators reached the airport an hour before the flight,to head for Ranchi.
Lalu and team were received at the Jharkhand capital by his old-time aide Bhola Yadav and some other party leaders. Mobbed by the media,he said: I have nothing to say. My lawyers will talk to you after pronouncement of the verdict tomorrow.
Lalu next headed for the Railways guest house,where he met party leaders and workers. Among those who dropped in were the RJD ministers in the Jharkhand government,Suresh Paswan and Annapurna Devi.
According to sources,no one raised the verdict. With Rahul Gandhis outburst making it unlikely that an ordinance that could have come to his rescue would be passed,a verdict against him could see Lalu disqualifed as an MP as well as losing the right to contest the next general elections.
As an RJD leader said,Even though no one discussed the verdict,tension was palpable. But no one can afford to show emotions. When Laluji stays calm,we all have to give him strength.
The question of who would replace Lalu as the RJD chief should he be convicted was also not considered. The party,said insiders,is still hopeful of a miracle and,in worst scenarios,of legal relief.
If nothing works,we will still take Lalujis orders from wherever he is and if it is very necessary to have a leader to restore the confidence of workers,Rabri Devi may be called to lead the party or even work as vice-president. Tejaswi has been also showing great political maturity and respects elders. Meanwhile,we pray for Laluji, said an RJD leader.
There was another subject perhaps on everyones mind Saturday. The three sitting RJD MPs,Raghuvansh Prasad Singh,Prabhunath Singh and Jagdanand Singh,did not join Lalu to express solidarity in one of the darkest hours of his political life. Nor was there any confirmation that they would be here Saturday. The party played it down saying they were out on assignments.
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