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Nobody can finish me: Lalu

Fodder scam judgment day countdown begins

Lalu Prasad at SK Memorial Hall in Patna on Sunday. Picture by Nagendra Kumar Singh

Patna: On December 23 in Ranchi, special CBI judge Shivapal Singh will deliver his verdict in the case related to alleged fraudulent withdrawal of Rs 84.5 lakh from the Deoghar district treasury in then undivided Bihar, one of the five fodder scam cases in which Lalu Prasad is an accused. As judgment day approaches, the RJD chief opens up in conversation with Amit Bhelari of The Telegraph. Excerpts:

• The Telegraph : How will the RJD run if you go to jail? Will the party survive your absence?

Lalu: Is this the first time I will go to jail? I have been in jail earlier and my party has always progressed and emerged stronger. This party does not belong to just one person; every worker and leader of the RJD is Lalu Prasad. However, I have full faith in the judiciary and I know that will get relief. Nitish and BJP want to send me to jail and they are trying their best. Nitish and BJP think that if I go to jail I will become weak and broken, but they are daydreaming. The more they attack me, the more my vote bank will increase. My party will run in my absence also. Nobody can finish me and I am not scared of the dirty politics of Nitish and the saffron party. My fight against the communal and fascist will continue. My relation with the Congress will always be strong and we cannot ignore the Congress. Forget the Rahul Gandhi episode of tearing the ordinance; it was not his fault.

• TT: You are known for your Muslim-Yadav vote bank but if you want to survive in today's politics you need to have the support of other castes as well.

Lalu: Muslim-Yadav is my trusted vote bank and they are always loyal towards me, but it is a wrong perception that other castes do not support me. They too have loyalty towards me and the RJD. At the time of Grand Alliance all the castes voted for us and I helped Nitish to transfer my votes to him. Everyone knows that Nitish was able to win so many seats because of me, otherwise it was an impossible task for Palturam (chief minister Nitish Kumar).

I gave a blank cheque to Nitish to work with a free hand but Nitish did a very shameful thing by breaking the alliance. He sat on the lap of the party which had raised questions on his DNA. The BJP is equally shameless because it was Nitish who had once snatched the plate after serving them food.

TT: When you accepted Nitish as leader of the Grand Alliance, did you have any apprehensions?

Lalu: I never had faith in Nitish and was always doubtful about his nature. Tejashwi was deputy CM and my people used to tell me that my photo was never shown in the campaign of Bihar Mein Bahar Hai Nitishey Kumar Hai. Only Nitish's picture was there, my photo was never there in his programmes. People and workers were closely watching it but I used to ignore it because my only motive was to keep the BJP away. Nitish took the seven resolves and prohibition decisions alone and never discussed anything with me. He was supposed to take all vital decisions in the Grand Alliance after discussing with me but always used to inform me after taking any decision. Earlier, (Congress leader) Ashok Choudhary used to sit next to Nitish and now Sushil Modi is sitting next to him. Modi is completely dominating him. BJP has climbed on the chest of Nitish and he will face more trouble in the coming days.

TT: You, Nitish and Sushil Modi all emerged from the JP movement. Do you think you have delivered his ideology of total revolution?

Lalu: No, we could not. JP has defined the meaning of total revolution in the context of basic change in every section, from top to bottom. Total revolution was for those who were kept away from the basic rights like education, employment and farming after independence. The total revolution was not in the context of Bihar, it was in the context of country. I am still following the ideology of JP but leaders like Nitish and Sushil Modi have forgotten him. Nitish and Modi annihilated the dream of JP. My only fault that I gave the voice to the downtrodden and still stick by it. The BJP always humiliated JP.

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