Speculation rife over Pranab's son meeting Lalu

Speculation rife over Pranab's son meeting Lalu

 Son of President Pranab Mukherjee and Congress MP from Jangipur in West Bengal Abhijit Mukherjee met the incarcerated Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) president Lalu Prasad in the Birsa Munda Jail.

Though Abhijit maintained that his Jharkhand visit was primarily meant to offer puja (prayers) at Rajrappa temple, around 45 km from Ranchi, rumour mills worked overtime following the meeting of VVIP’s son with the jailed leader. Abhijit thus became the first Congress parliamentarian who made a “courtesy visit” to Lalu. The Jangipur MP was accompanied by RJD legislator Sanjay Yadav when the duo met the RJD chief on Sunday evening on the jail premises.

Though no Congress leader was ready to comment on Pranab son’s visit, it is believed that the grand old party has tried to send a message to the jailed leader that all is not lost for him after the lower court verdict.

Meantime, Lalu approached other CBI courts in Ranchi and urged them to take him into judicial custody in four other fodder scam cases pending against him. Lalu filed separate petitions in four other cases – RC 64A/96, RC 68A/96, RC 47A/96, RC 38A/96 in different CBI courts. Admitting Lalu’s petition, the courts took him into judicial custody in these cases also.

Legal experts feel that this a tactical move by Lalu precisely because once taken into judicial custody in these cases, the period he would now remain in jail would be finally deducted in the ultimate punishment he would get if convicted in these cases.

Lalu had already spent 288 days in jail from 1997 to 2002 in the fodder scam case. “These 288 days will be deducted from the five-year jail term he has been sentenced on October 3,” his lawyer Prabhat Kumar said.

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