| Sushil Kumar Modi |
Patna, Sept. 30: After the verdict on Lalu Prasad was announced, former deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi, one of the main petitioners demanding a CBI probe into the fodder scam in Patna High Court, uttered a Hindi proverb: “Boya pedh babul ka, aam kahan se hoi (As you sow, so you reap).”
Modi said there has not been a scam of such a magnitude since the fodder scam surfaced. “The credit for this verdict goes to CBI’s then joint director U.N. Biswas, who made a foolproof case against the accused persons,” he said.
He predicted a Congress-JD(U) alliance as a direct fallout of this verdict. “The Congress will use the CBI to give relief to Nitish Kumar,” he remarked.
Chief minister Nitish Kumar, who never fails to take jibes at the RJD chief, refused comment. “I will not comment on a judicial process,” he said.
JD(U) president Sharad Yadav told PTI the RJD chief was “paying” for “looting the government treasury” for his personal greed and it is a lesson for others. “We feel bad but law is law for everybody.... If you do wrong you will be punished definetely.... Law is equal for everybody,” he told reporters at Madhepura, his Lok Sabha constituency in Bihar.
The JD(U) chief said that he and other socialist leaders had helped people like Lalu Prasad and Nitish Kumar to emerge as leaders of the weaker sections. “But he (Lalu), after becoming CM, started looting the government treasury for his family and personal greed and today he is paying for it. Though the court order has come after 16 years it has upheld and law,” Sharad said.
Bihar minister P K Shahi, a petitioner against the RJD chief, also refused comment.
The other petitioner in the case, JD(U) MP Shivanand Tiwari, said the verdict was not entirely unexpected. “The trend of CBI fodder scam cases made it clear he would be convicted,” he said. However, he did not feel Lalu’s conviction would lead to a change in political parties’ support base. “Lalu has been in jail before and it did not disturb his support base,” he said, stressing that parties’ support bases depend more on who they ally with.
Lalu’s ally and LJP chief Ram Vilas Paswan said ups and downs were part and parcel of a politician’s life. “It will pass,” Paswan said, stressing that the verdict was not entirely unexpected and the alliance would gear up to meet the challenge.
The state Congress leadership was cautious. “It is a judicial process,” state party chief Ashok Choudhary said.