Burning midnight oil in frantic search for loyals
Manoj Chaurasia
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Patna, 7 July
As the possible conviction stares him in one of the fodder scam cases in which the final verdict is slated for 15 July, the Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Lalu Prasad Yadav is now anxiously looking for his “trusted” men to look after the party affairs in his absence in case he is sent to jail by the CBI court.
In a setback to his chances of delaying the judgment a bit, Jharkhand High Court has already dismissed his petition seeking transfer of the fodder scam case no RC 20A/96 from the CBI court of Pravas Kumar Singh to some other court. Mr Prasad had sought for transfer of his case expressing apprehension that he may not be getting “justice” from the court on the ground that the said judge is a close relative of a senior JD-U leader and Bihar education minister PK Shahi who, in his opinion, may exploit his relation with the judge very much to settle personal scores with him in the aftermath of his party candidate serving a massive defeat to him in the recent by-election to Maharajganj Lok Sabha seat. Mr Shahi who was a JD-U candidate had lost the poll by a margin of over 1.50 votes.
Mr Prasad is now said to be burning midnight oil searching for his “trusted” men whom could be handed over the responsibility of the party leadership. Last time in July 1997 while going to jail in the case, he had handed over the “powers” to his housewife Mrs Rabri Devi who was made the chief minister as his two brothers-in-law Sadhu Yadabv and Subhash Yadav stood on guard. This time, however, the situation is entirely different. While Mrs Rabri Devi, although a member of the Upper House of the state legislature, has not been taking keen interest in party affairs, he has tightly shut his doors on all his brothers-in-law as well. RJD insiders said the party&’s national vice-president Raghuvansh Prasad Singh could be one such leader. Another name, could be Shakuni Chaudhary.