RJD, BJP cross swords over fodder scam sentence
Patna: Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader Tejashwi Prasad on Saturday said the CBI court’s sentencing of his father and party chief Lalu Prasad was a threat to his life for challenging the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
“We apprehend a threat to Laluji’s life as he has been challenging the BJP’s hegemony and trying to unite the parties opposed to it across the country. He is innocent and he will get justice in the higher courts. The people of Bihar will give a befitting reply to those behind the conspiracy against the RJD supremo,” said Tejashwi, Prasad’s younger son and Leader of Opposition in the state Assembly.
Asserting that the RJD would not get cowed down by the latest development, he said the workers of the party would work more resolutely than ever before and added that the Janat Dal (United) and the BJP would be made to bite the dust in the next election.
Prasad was sentenced to 14 years in prison in a case relating to fraudulent withdrawal of money from the Dumka treasury when he was the chief minister of undivided Bihar.
Deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi, however, dismissed the younger Prasad’s allegation, and pointed out that the RJD supremo enjoyed a foolproof security in jail.
“The law has taken its own course. The verdict is not the first one in the fodder scam cases and it should be respected by all,” said Modi who was one of the petitioners in the fodder scam cases in the Patna high court, which had ordered a CBI enquiry into the scam in 1996.
The BJP also said the law took its own course in the matter as the RJD called the CBI investigation “politically motivated”.
“It is no rocket science to see that the probe was politically motivated. I do not wish to say much about the judgment since one cannot expect a verdict to be fair and just if the investigation itself was faulty,” RJD national spokesman Manoj Jha said.
The Rajya Sabha MP, however, expressed confidence that they would draw the higher court’s attention to the shortcomings in the investigation and Prasad would come out unscathed.
“Prasad is a victim of a conspiracy by political parties like the BJP, which represents the interests of those who are opposed to social justice and communal harmony,” Jha said.
He alleged that “had the CBI conducted a fair enquiry in the cases of this nature, all the big shots in the Nitish Kumar government would have been behind bars in connection with the Srijan scam by now”.