Ahead of jail sentence, Lalu meets RJD leaders in prison

Ahead of jail sentence, Lalu meets RJD leaders in prison

Two days before a special CBI court is slated to pronounce the quantum of punishment to one of the convicts in the fodder scam, Lalu Prasad, hundreds of RJD leaders made a beeline on Monday outside the Ranchi jail to meet the incarcerated party president.

Lalu, who is facing trial in six different fodder scam cases, was convicted by the CBI court on December 23 in RC 64A/96,  a case related to fraudulent withdrawal of around Rs 90 lakh from the Deogarh treasury.

The RJD chief is currently lodged in Ranchi's Birsa Munda jail awaiting his sentence to be pronounced by the CBI judge Shivpal Singh on January 3.

Birsa Munda jail authorities on Monday allowed three RJD leaders, including party spokesperson Ezya Yadav, Girinath Singh and Sanjay Yadav, to meet the incarcerated RJD chief.

Outside the jail premises, hundreds of RJD supporters had gathered with home-cooked food and green vegetables to give it to their party president on the occasion of New Year.

"Lalu ji loves cooking. Therefore, some of his supporters today (Monday) came with seasonal vegetables and other eatables. But since the jail manual says that only three people can meet Lalu ji in a week, the supporters have handed over the vegetables to the prison authorities, who, in turn, will pass it on to the RJD president," said Bhola Yadav, Lalu's confidant.  

Last week, jail authorities had disallowed Lalu's lawyer Prabahat Kumar, too, from meeting his client citing rules of the jail manual.

Meanwhile, former chief  minister Rabri Devi, flanked  by her two sons Tej Pratap and Tejashwi Yadav, met scores of RJD leaders at her Patna residence.

"The RJD is not celebrating New Year. But I extend my good wishes to everyone. Hope Lalu ji will get justice on January 3," said Rabri.

"Had we been any Mishra or any other upper caste, instead of Yadav, we would have been exonerated by now," she added.

Rabri's ire was apparently aimed at the exoneration of former chief  minister Jagannath Mishra, who on December 23, was let off in the same case (RC 64A/96) by the same CBI court, although both the  former chief ministers were named as accused after the fodder scam was detected in 1996.

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