The election season might be over in Bihar after a gruelling competition where NDA spearheaded by BJP prevailed in its full glory—the drama in the state is far from over as the old Turk of Bihar politics Lalu Yadav tries to stir the cauldron of controversy from his leisurely stay at one of the sprawling bungalows allotted to him by the friendly Jharkhand government.
Former Bihar deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi on Wednesday released an audiotape purportedly featuring the RJD chief, who is serving time on fodder charges in Ranchi, telling Pirpaiti (Bhagalpur) BJP MLA Lalan Paswan over the phone to absent himself from voting for the Speaker’s election held on Wednesday. As Paswan claimed he received the call on Tuesday, the BJP and JD(U) demanded a probe into “the Lalu tape”.
लालू यादव ने दिखाई अपनी असलियत
लालू प्रसाद यादव द्वारा NDA के विधायक को बिहार विधान सभा अध्यक्ष के लिए होने वाले चुनाव में महागठबंधन के पक्ष में मतदान करने हेतु प्रलोभन देते हुए। pic.twitter.com/LS9968q7pl
— Sushil Kumar Modi (@SushilModi) November 25, 2020
Lalan Paswan lodged FIR in vigilance Thana ,Patna against Lalu Pd under prevention of corruption act for making telephone calls from custody & offering ministerial berth which amounts to bribing & alluring a public servant.@ZeeBiharNews @News18Bihar
— Sushil Kumar Modi (@SushilModi) November 26, 2020
While Laluneeti was on its full display as the RJD leader tried his level best to influence the election of a BJP candidate to the all-important Speaker’s post, Union Home Minister Amit Shah and his Shahneeti was one step ahead of Lalu. In the buildup to the election of the Speaker post, it was being projected that Nandkisore Yadav was going to be the candidate for BJP. However, Shah sensing the looming danger from Lalu Yadav, changed the candidate at the last moment and a hapless Lalu Yadav had to resort to using the telephone to lure and indirectly ‘bribe’ the opposition party leaders.
On Wednesday, instead of Nandkisore Yadav, it was Vijay Kumar Sinha, the three-time BJP MLA from Lakhisarai and former state minister, who was elected as the speaker of the Bihar assembly amid high drama. Sinha polled 126 votes in favour and 114 votes against. Members of the AIMIM voted against the NDA candidate. The opposition had fieldedLalu Yadav’s MLA Awadh Bihari Choudhary as their speaker candidate.
Despite pooling all his resources and putting up a dogged fight, Lalu Yadav couldn’t breach the defence of BJP, much like his son Tejashwi Yadav who put up a boisterous campaign and even became a CM for one day owing to the Exit polls but when the results tallied in—the Yadav scion was made to eat the humble pie.
Lalu Prasad Yadav, who is jailed in multiple cases linked to the infamous fodder scam. In what reveals the extent of VIP treatment meted out to Lalu, he was first placed in the Super Specialty Ward of the hospital, then he was shifted to the Paying Ward and since 5 August 2020 he has been at the RIMS Director’s Bungalow, thereby not only becoming the longest-serving patient at RIMS but also the first patient to be lodged at the directors’ bungalow.
He was shifted to the Bungalow from RIMS to apparently save him from the Coronavirus infection. Two attendants were engaged to look after Lalu at Kelly’s Bungalow, a single-floor British era house built on a 25-acre area. The house has four bedrooms, two dining spaces, a study, two large verandahs, and a kitchen. The sprawling garden in the compound has various fruit-bearing tree kinds.
In one of the videos shared by a news channel Lalu Yadav, dressed in a blue t-shirt and dhoti, is seen strolling in the corridor. ” Presskahai…mat dena (He is from the press…don’t release the video),” he is heard saying in the short clip.
After the audiotape was released by Sushil Modi, as a desperate countermeasure to avoid the negative press, Lalu Yadav was immediately transferred to the RIMS hospital.
RJD leader and former Bihar Chief Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav shifted back to Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS) from Kelly bungalow (RIMS Director's bungalow). pic.twitter.com/K3EBJR7kPG
— ANI (@ANI) November 26, 2020
Even before the elections, Lalu was seen trying to influence the voters and the political parties from the Jail itself. As reported extensively by TFI, since the Hemant Soren-led Jharkhand Mukti Morcha came to power in Jharkhand, where Lalu is jailed, the administration became very lenient towards the RJD supremo. He was unabashedly being allowed to carry out political activity from jail and capitalizing on this, Lalumanaged the party’s campaign for the assembly elections.
Ranchi jail inspector general Birendra Bhushan had even written a letter to the deputy commissioner ChhaviRanjancomplaining that Lalu Yadav was repeatedly violating jail manual and standard operating procedure by using his political clout.
While any other candidate would have fallen for Lalu Yadav’s ruse, a tightly knitted BJP cadre glued by Amit Shah ensured that Lalan Paswan immediately came to the party high command and revealed Lalu’s sinister plans. The charisma of ‘Shahneeti’ has been such that even when allies like LJP have broken the alliance that they have not gone to the opposition fold. On the contrary, they have pledged their allegiance to BJP as LJP President Chirag Paswan during the election campaign had done so. Laluneeti has been dumped in the dustbin and with the media camera back on Lalu who has been forced to go back to RIM hospital, it needs to be seen, how does Lalu Yadav retaliate.