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RJD is united and strong, but misses Lalu: Rabri

October 22, 2013, 4:51 PM IST Politics Politics
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Patna: Former Bihar chief minister and Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader Rabri Devi has claimed that the party is united and people of Bihar are with Lalu Prasad while hinting that the Congress, Ram Vilas Paswan's Lok Janshakti Party and her party will fight elections together. Even though Rabri, who is looking after the party affairs after Lalu was jailed following his conviction in a fodder scam case, admitted that the party has been hit by Lalu's sentencing and jail term, she added that her husband has been framed and will get justice from the higher courts.

"I am missing Lalu, we all are missing him. Our party is strong; people of Bihar are missing Lalu and are with him. There is no problem in running the party in his absence but it would have been better if he had been with us," Rabri said.

Rabri alleged that Lalu has been framed in the fodder scam by Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and BJP leaders. She claimed that there was no proof and higher courts would grant him relief soon.

"Lalu is innocent. Nitish Kumar is only a mask. He broke ties with the BJP just two months ago. But he was with the BJP for 17 years, so what difference does it make? Nitish is only saying he is not with Narendra Modi but in reality he is in LK Advani's camp. Nitish will join hands with BJP again if Advani is projected again. Both Modi and Advani are from the same party and Nitish Kumar is trying to fool the people of Bihar," she said.

Lalu and Janata Dal (United) leader Jagdish Sharma were on Monday disqualified from the Lok Sabha following their conviction in a fodder scam case. Lalu was on October 3 sentenced to five years imprisonment in a 17-year-old fodder scam case by the court after on the charges of corruption and other charges.

The sentencing by special CBI judge Pravas Kumar Singh disqualified Lalu Prasad from Parliament and rendered him ineligible for contesting elections for 11 years. The 65-year-old Prasad and Sharma are currently lodged in the Birsa Munda Central Jail in Ranchi.

Lalu was one of the 45 people facing charges in the RC 20 A/96 case and had been charged with fraudulent withdrawing Rs 37.7 crore on fake fodder bills from Chaibasa treasury in the 1990s. Chaibasa was then part of undivided Bihar and is now in Jharkhand.

There were a total of 56 accused in the case. But during the trial, seven accused died, two turned approver, one admitted to the crime and one was discharged.

Lalu quit as Bihar chief minister on July 25, 1997 when his name figured in the CBI investigations in the scam, which surfaced in 1996. After stepping down, he rather surprising pulled his wife Rabri out of the "chowka" (kitchen) and made her the chief minister and continued to rule through proxy.