oppn parties Laloo Yadav: Convicted Twice, But Bluster Not Gone

News Snippets

  • Corona cases in India cross 4000 and the death toll stands at 124
  • The government decides to double the testing of corona suspects from 10000 now to 20000 in the next three days
  • Flipkart assures employees that there will be no job or salary cuts due to the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Although it was obvious, but the government still clarifies that there is no need to switch off appliances and only lights need to be switched off on April 5 at 9pm after confusion in the minds of some people
  • PM Modi and President Trump decide "to deploy full strength of (Indo-US) partnership" to fight against COVID-19
  • 17 states have reported 1023 cases of coronavirus linked to the Tablighi Jamaat, which translates to 30% of all positive cases in India
  • The government says people should not use alcohol-based hand sanitizers before lighting diyas or candles on April 5
  • The railways say there is no certainty yet when services will resume after the lockdown and a final decision will be taken in the next few days
  • As coronavirus cases multiply in Assam, six north-east states seal their borders with the state
  • Power System Operation Corporation Ltd. (POCOSO) putting all systems and protocols in place at war-footing to ensure there is no grid failure due to reduction in demand on April 5 at 9 pm
  • Power ministry scotches rumours that the power grid might fail due to the 9-minute blackout called by PM Modi on Sunday, April 5
  • Centre asks people to wear home-made masks if it is absolutely essential for them to step out of homes
  • Centre asks states to allow licensed street vendors to sell essential items
  • 8000 samples were tested across India on April 2, but the government said that testing will be need-based and will not be used as a confidence-boosting measure
  • Air India operating special flights to fly passengers stuck in India since the lockdown
India shows solidarity in the fight against COVID-19 by lighting diyas and candles at 9 pm yesterday as requested by Prime Minister Modi
oppn parties
Laloo Yadav: Convicted Twice, But Bluster Not Gone

By Sunil Garodia
First publised on 2017-12-26 17:38:40

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Editor-in-Chief of indiacommentary.com. Current Affairs analyst and political commentator. Writes for a number of publications.
Laloo Prasad has been convicted once again in the fodder scam. With this, his hopes of getting out on bail will also vanish as higher courts usually do not grant bail to habitual offenders and a second conviction puts Laloo firmly in that bracket. While Laloo, his son Tejeshwi and other RJD leaders have hinted that there was gross miscarriage of justice in the Ranchi court and they would approach higher courts for redress, the fact is that there have already been two convictions and more cases are in various stages of trial. Laloo has little chance of salvaging his shredded reputation. A section of the media too did nothing to salvage its reputation as news was flashed that Laloo had been acquitted even before the relevant part of the judgment was read out. Who was in such a tearing hurry to bail out Laloo?

The fodder scam, though comparatively peanuts in front of the mega scams during UPA regimes, was big enough and involved too many treasuries in undivided Bihar. It allowed bureaucrats and politicians to loot people’s money on an unprecedented scale. The biggest factor in the scam was that the largesse was divided among a huge number of people to seal the lips. Many innovative and ingenious tricks were used to siphon out money. That is the main reason that it went on unreported for so many days.

But now, after unacceptable delays of nearly two decades, as the cases come to termination one after the other, the guilty will be brought to book. Despite Laloo’s ‘earnest’ denials, his culpability, even if not his direct involvement, has been proven in court, not once but twice. Obviously it will be done in the other cases too, since Laloo, like a giving emperor, allowed his underlings to loot the state unchecked. Though Laloo has the option of appealing against the order, given the findings in the lower court, he cannot expect much relief in higher courts.

But the bluster has not gone. In a series of tweets after his latest conviction, Laloo compared himself to Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King and B R Ambedkar in alluding that he was being seriously wronged. Laloo and his party leaders also brought caste into play and alleged that their supremo was being harassed and convicted only because he was one of the downtrodden and fighting for their cause. Immediately after the conviction, his twitter handle had a post saying "powerful people and powerful classes always managed to divide society into ruling and the ruled classes. And whenever anyone from the lower hierarchy challenged this unjust order, they would be deliberately punished." But scams and money have no caste and people across the spectrum have been caught dipping their hands in public coffers to replenish their private ones. Laloo and his cronies are no exception.

It now proves that Nitish Kumar took the right decision in getting out of his alliance with Laloo’s party. The ball is now in Rahul Gandhi’s court. What will the Congress do with the doubly tainted Laloo? Will it risk continuing with the alliance? Or will it also dump Laloo? What happens if the outspoken Tejeshwi counters that the Congress is also tainted as there are several scam cases pending against its leaders? Let’s wait and watch whether they stick like birds of a feather or whether the new-found confidence of Rahul Gandhi makes him part ways with the RJD.