After Sushil Modi's sensational tweet, Lalu's audio clip goes viral

Modi shared the one and a half minute long clip on his official Twitter handle wherein Prasad can be heard speaking
Last Updated 25 November 2020, 12:36 IST

Rashtriya Janata Dals jailed president Lalu Prasads alleged attempts to poach MLAs of the ruling NDA in Bihar and topple the newly formed Nitish Kumar government on Wednesday stirred the political waters in the state.

Sushil Kumar Modi, the Chief Ministers former deputy and trusted lieutenant in the BJP, who had made a sensational claim on the previous night that Prasad was having access to a mobile phone through which he was calling up NDA legislators, followed it up with an audio clip of a purported conversation between the RJD supremo, who is in Ranchi, and a saffron party MLA.

Modi shared the one and a half minute long clip on his official Twitter handle wherein Prasad can be heard speaking, in his unique voice and distinct accent, to the Pirpainti MLA Lalan Kumar.

"We will take good care of you. Just help us tomorrow in defeating the NDAs candidate for the Speakers post, Prasad can be heard saying in the audio. In the audio, the MLA can be heard mumbling about the difficulties that he may face if he voted against his own party to which Prasad replies in an assuring tone "you need not worry. We are going to have our own Speaker. We will also reward you further once we topple this government and form our own".

The BJP MLA sought to confirm the veracity of the audio clip and said the conversation took place in the very presence of Sushil Kumar Modi, apparently not in knowledge of the wily RJD supremo.

"I was in a meeting with Sushil Modi when my personal assistant came to inform that there is a call from Lalu Prasad on my mobile. I was surprised but thought that like many others he might have called to congratulate me upon recent electoral victory", Lalan Kumar told reporters here..

"He is such a senior leader. So I duly greeted him with a respectful pranaam. He began to speak of toppling the government etc. I tried to reason out that I am bound by party discipline......After hanging up, I informed Sushil Modi", said the MLA. Modi, who had in a tweet on Tuesday night claimed to have called up RJD supremo and warned him against "dirty tricks", congratulated his party colleague Vijay Kumar Sinha upon election as the Speaker and remarked "Lalu Prasads conspiracy has been foiled".

The RJD chief is serving sentences in a number of fodder scam cases. Deputy Chief Minister Tar Kishor Prasad strongly criticised the incident. He told reporters in the assembly premises that they would ask Jharkhand government to look into the matter and if needed would even approach the centre for a high level inquiry into it. Bihar minister Mukesh Sahni, founder of the Vikassheel Insaan Party (VIP) who broke his alliance with the RJD just ahead of the elections and joined the NDA, indignant over the senior partners condescension in the sharing of seats, also took the opportunity to twist the knife.

"Those who make calls to MLAs with the intent to topple a government have no right to speak of democratic norms", said Sahni on the floor of the assembly while congratulating Sinha on his election as the Speaker. The RJD, meanwhile, remained tight-lipped over the episode and chose not to deny the allegations levelled against its maverick chief.

However, debutant MLA Mukesh Raushan, who retained for the RJD Mahua seat which was previously held by Prasads elder son Tej Pratap Yadav, made a remark in front of the state assembly that smacked of the brashness that has come to be associated with the party which was once considered invincible. "You will see a big shake up in March.

This government will fall and Tejashwi Yadav will become the Chief Minister. Legislators from all parties are in touch with us. Just wait and watch", said the dental surgeon-turned-politician with a swagger. Meanwhile, Jharkhand's Inspector General,Prisons,Virendra Bhusan, said in Ranchi that Prasad is in RIM's Director's bungalow with the permission of the district administration.

The Ranchi district administration takes decision about visitors to Prasad and other issues linked to it. Regarding the video doing the rounds on social media, Bhusan told PTI-Bhasha in Ranchi that "We will go through the video and if any truth is found we will ask Deputy Collector and Superintendent of Police to probe the matter and initiate lawful action."

The fresh controvery has broken days before the Jharkhand High Court is expected to hear Lalu Prasad's bail plea in a fodder scam case related to Dumka treasury on Friday. That day, the court is also likely to have a look at the reports submitted by Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS) on Prasad's treatment and so is the report from the jail department and the district administration on people meeting the RJD supremo there.

(Published 25 November 2020, 12:36 IST)

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