RJD rejoices over Lalu bail; Nitish party sulks

The Supreme Court decision to grant bail to Rashtriya Janata Dal president Lalu Prasad, who has been languishing in Ranchi jail after being convicted in fodder scam, has come as a breather for the party which has been marginalised ever since it lost power in 2005.

Hailing the verdict, former Bihar chief minister and Lalu’s wife Rabri Devi said, “I had full faith in the apex court and therefore anticipated nyay (justice).”

A stream of visitors could be seen at 10, Circular Road, Rabri’s official residence, where supporters jostled with each other to give congratulatory message. Leading the pack was former Leader of the Opposition Abdul Bari Siddiqui followed by ex-minister Veena Sahi. Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) president Ram Vilas Paswan and Bihar Congress chief Ashok Choudhary too expressed their happiness over bail granted to Lalu. The Congress, which, of late, has been distancing itself from the JD-U, after having bailed out Nitish during trust motion in June last, is still in a dilemma whether to go by Rahul’s choice of aligning with the JD-U or opt for Sonia’s preferred preference of Lalu for the Lok Sabha polls.

Both Paswan and Choudhary dropped  hints that there could be a pre-poll alliance among the three parties much like 2004 Lok Sabha elections. This was music to RJD leaders’ ears who were feeling demoralised ever since their leader was put behind bars.

But among the happiest lot were BJP leaders. “Lalu may or may not contest polls, till he is acquitted or his conviction set aside. But merely his presence will galvanise the RJD, which may spell doom for Nitish and his cohorts. The ensuing Lok Sabha poll in Bihar will see a straight contest between the BJP and the RJD-led alliance,” said senior BJP leader  Giriraj Singh.

The JD-U, however, took umbrage at the BJP’s elation. “Everyone is feeling so happy over Lalu’s bail as if he is coming out of jail after fighting for country’s Independence,” said Nitish’s key aide and JD-U spokesperson Neeraj Kumar.

Comments (+)