Prayers for Lalu, Patna to Phulwaria
Patna: As Lalu Prasad spent another day in a Ranchi prison awaiting his sentence, which is now expected on Thursday, his family and followers continued with their prayers and spiritual offerings seeking their leader's early release from jail.
Lalu's elder son Tej Pratap Yadav visited Mahavir Mandir located near Patna railway station to pray for his father's freedom.
Braving the biting cold, the morning temperature was around seven degrees Celsius, Tej headed to the temple with a few youth leaders to seek the blessings and divine intervention of Lord Hanuman.
After offering prayers, Tej Pratap said they would respect whatever decision the court in Ranchi took.
"The court is like god for us and whatever be the quantum of punishment, I will respect the order. I have full faith in the judiciary and nobody is above the court," Tej Pratap said soon after concluding his prayers at the temple.
Tej Pratap also said that he had always respected the court and nothing wrong could happen to his father.
His comments came on a day the CBI special court in Ranchi slapped contempt notices on three top RJD leaders, including Tej Pratap's younger brother Tejashwi Yadav, and senior Congress leader Manish Tewari. The court has told them to explain why they gave a caste spin while criticising the order convicting Lalu in a fodder case.
The court was to have pronounced its sentence on Wednesday but deferred it to Thursday.
Prayers for the RJD chief went on across Bihar. RJD workers performed havan at Chandika Sthan in Munger and also offered chadar to the mazar of peer Nafa Saheb. RJD workers also performed havan in Jehanabad and Begusarai districts.
Lalu's relatives and followers offered puja at his ancestral village of Phulwaria in Gopalganj district, 150km north of Patna. The prayers took place in a local Durga temple.
The prayers were led by Kunti Devi, the widow of Lalu's elder brother Gulab Chand Yadav, along with other family members. They all gathered on the temple premises and prayed for more than an hour.
Lalu's 10 Circular Road residence in Patna wore a deserted look since morning on Wednesday with a handful of visitors allowed to interact with Rabri Devi. None of Lalu's family members have gone to Ranchi.
Rabri and Tejashwi maintained a distance from the media. Some of the few leaders who did go in later told reporters they had full faith in the judiciary. One of them was RJD state president Ram Chandra Purbey, who said: "We have full faith in the judiciary. We know that sooner or later our leader Lalu ji will come out from jail."