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Criminal Cases, Political Coalition are Separate Matters: Congress on Lalu's Conviction

While Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari said the CBI was behaving like a "pet parrot" of the BJP government, Sanjay Nirupam said the torture of Lalu in the decades old case should stop now.

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Updated:December 23, 2017, 9:48 PM IST
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Criminal Cases, Political Coalition are Separate Matters: Congress on Lalu's Conviction
Congress president Rahul Gandhi and RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav. (File photo)
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New Delhi: Hours after a CBI court convicted Lalu Prasad Yadav in the second fodder scam case, the Congress party came to the defence of the RJD supremo. While spokesperson Manish Tewari said the CBI was behaving like a "pet parrot" of the BJP government, Sanjay Nirupam said the torture of Lalu in the decades old case should stop now.

Calling criminal cases and political coalition separate matters, Tewari said this case has not started today. "This (case) has not started today. It had started in 1993-94. Between 1993-94 and today, we (Congress) have had coalition with RJD, during UPA-1 they were part of the government, they were part of mahagatbandhan as well. So criminal cases and political alliance are two separate matters," he said.

He also questioned why similar actions were not initiated against Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar in the Srijan scam, in which the "quantum of embezzlement was of a much greater order". "Why are there different strokes for different folks?" Tewari alleged, while demanding an SIT probe into the Srijan scam.

The special CBI court on Saturday convicted Lalu Prasad and 15 others in the fodder scam case, while acquitting six, including another former chief minister Jagannath Mishra.

"Lalu Prasad's legal fight is not going on from today. It is going on from 1996. It had started when some leaders associated with BJP had filed a petition in Patna High court. As far as today's verdict is concerned, Lalu Prasad and his lawyer are fully capable to deal with this," he told reporters.

"We would like to ask BJP why the Srijan Scam is not being investigated. Because the central charge in Srijan scam is also the same. The central charge is embezzlement from state treasury and the quantum of embezzlement is of a much greater order," he said.

He said the alleged embezzlement across different treasuries in Bihar took place under Nitish Kumar and Finance Minister Sushil Modi.

He said the central agencies are acting at the behest of the BJP. "And its biggest evidence is that when the 2G verdict came and the first verdict was not even uploaded, the CBI and the ED gave statements that they would file appeal. CBI and ED are not private lawyers, they are state instrumentalities. They are supposed to function in a fair, objective and transparent manner," he said.

"So as far as CBI and ED are concerned, if you think that JDU is in coalition with BJP, and there will be investigation against their ministers, this is like flying fictional kites," he added.
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