Jail not a new experience says Lalu
atna: Jail will not be new for former
Bihar chief minister Lalu Prasad, who has spent time, held court, cooked
food and virtually run the party and the state government from behind bars
in his over four decade-long political career, leaders close to him said
"People may not be aware that he had spent more than two years in jail as
a student leader in the early 1970s," said political activist Satya Narain
Madan, who has known Lalu Prasad since the popular JP (Jaya Prakash
Narayan-led) movement against the Emergency.
Nearly one and a half decades before he became chief minister in 1990,
Lalu Prasad had named his eldest daughter MISA Bharti after the draconian
act (Maintenance of Internal Security Act)under which he was booked in
1975, said Ghulam Ghaus, a Rashtriya Janata Dal legislator.
RJD leader Ram Kripal Yadav said Lalu Pradesh, "forced to resign as chief
minister in 1997 after he was framed in fodder scam under a conspiracy"
spent 135 days in jail before he was released in December 1997. "Lalu
Prasad emerged stronger after being jailed," he said.
The third time the RJD chief went to jail was in 1998 and the fourth time
"When Lalu went to jail in 1997 in Ranchi (in undivided Bihar), RJD
leaders flocked to him inside jail and he used to hold durbars and claimed
to run government led by his wife Rabri Devi by proxy from behind the
bars," recalled Bharatiya Janata Party leader Arun Sinha.
Lalu Prasad used to cook his food when he went to jail in Patna later, he
Observers say Lalu Prasad used his jail sentence in his favour by
projecting it as a conspiracy by his rivals to weaken the social justice
plank."Lalu is a master in encashing his jail journey... he had proved it
time and again," said Ashok Kumar, who was junior to him in the student
However, this time, the five year term jail term will be difficult for
Lalu Prasad, as first he and his party are not in power either in the
state or at centre and secondly, he is now 67 years old and suffering from
several ailments. Besides, there is the worry to maintain sway over his
traditional support base of Rajputs, Muslims and Yadavs and keep his party
united, say the observers.
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