Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi today lashed out at Lalu Prasad and his supporters for alleging that the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief was being targeted as he belonged to a backward caste.
Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi today lashed out at Lalu Prasad and his supporters for alleging that the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief was being targeted as he belonged to a backward caste. A special CBI court in Ranchi had yesterday convicted Prasad and 15 others in a fodder scam case, 21 years after it had surfaced, while acquitting six others, including former Bihar chief minister Jagannath Mishra. “Upon being held guilty in a case of illegal withdrawal of Rs 89.4 lakh from the treasury, Lalu Prasad has gone to jail, for corruption, for the seventh time. Yet, he is comparing himself to leaders like Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King,” Modi tweeted. He was hinting at a tweet by the RJD supremo, shortly after his conviction yesterday, wherein he had said, “Had people like Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King, Baba Saheb Ambedkar failed in their efforts, history would have treated them as villains. They still are villains for the biased, racist and casteist minds. No one should expect any different treatment.”
The senior BJP leader, who was one of the petitioners, on whose PIL the Patna High Court had, in 1996, ordered a CBI inquiry into the fodder scam cases, tweeted, “Wonder what type of leadership is provided by people who brazenly indulge in self-praise and amass illegal wealth.” In another tweet, he said, “Among the 16 persons convicted, eight (50 per cent) belonged to the upper castes. Among the eight who were acquitted, four (50 per cent) were Dalits or from the backward classes. RJD supporters are refusing to look at the facts and accusing the judiciary of being casteist.” Soon after the conviction of Prasad yesterday, many RJD supporters had questioned the acquittal of Mishra and alleged that the judgment smacked of an “upper-caste bias”.
Modi also took potshots at RJD vice-president Shivanand Tiwary, without taking his name, and said, “A socialist leader, who gave up his vow of sanyas (retirement) to support the politics of benami property, now feels that he had committed a sin 21 years ago by associating himself with the PIL against Lalu Prasad.” Tiwary was a co-petitioner in the PIL filed in the high court. Upon his expulsion from Nitish Kumar’s JD(U) just before the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, Tiwary had announced his retirement from active politics.
However, he joined the RJD recently and was made the party’s national general secretary. The deputy chief minister was hinting at Tiwary’s statement that he felt he had “committed a sin” by filing the PIL, “which paved the way for Nitish Kumar to come to power in the state”. “Actually, he (Tiwary) is committing a sin now. The ability to discern between sin and virtue is lost by those who do not keep their vow of sanyas,” Modi said sarcastically.