“Look, they set doctor saheb free and punished me. It is strange”, was how a shocked Lalu Prasad Yadav reacted before being taken into custody after a special CBI court pronounced him guilty in the fodder scam case. Former Bihar chief minister and RJD Chief, Lalu Yadav has seen it all. He was earlier the unchallenged ‘king’ of Bihar, a messiah of Mandal politics, a leader associated with under development and ‘jungle raj’, as also a self-proclaimed ‘kingmaker’ at the Centre, a powerful Union railway minister, and a parallel centre of power in his home State, who has also been a prisoner, and has been debarred by the law of the land to contest elections.
End of road for Lalu
The law finally caught up with him. Ironically, Lalu made his entire family - his wife, sons, daughters and son-in-law - accused before law. The Income Tax Department and Enforcement Directorate are also probing cases against the family members. His party lost power in Bihar and his once-upon a time friend, Nitish Kumar, has thrown him out of the alliance. Still, Lalu has the temerity to proclaim himself a victim of politics. When all the accused of the 2G scam got acquitted the other day, the Congress celebrated it as a proof of its honest politics forgetting the fact that the judge had only blamed the CBI of presenting a shoddy case before him without required proof. He had not given a clean chit to anyone including the then PM. The Mumbai High Court dismissed the proceedings against Ashok Chavan meanwhile, giving hope to the likes of Lalu about their acquittal. But it was not to be and Lalu’s conviction, perhaps, would seal the fate of his party and family forever.
Casteism alone would not help any leader to survive in the rough and tumble of politics. And the younger generation at least does not have tears for the corrupt. This conviction could alter Bihar politics drastically and also the national politics to an extent. With Lalu behind bars, the negotiation power of RJD collapses. Tejashwi or Tej Pratap could never become mass leaders. It going to be is a long political hibernation for Lalu and his RJD. Nitish Kumar and the BJP must be celebrating silently. Just as the acquittal of the DMK leaders in 2G case, the conviction of Lalu too opens a window of opportunity for the BJP.