Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi on Tuesday accused RJD supremo Lalu Yadav of running his political show from behind the bars and even receiving bio-data of over 200 ticket aspirants for the state assembly polls.
The RJD, however, rubbished the charge as baseless.
“A dozen people meet convicted prisoner Lalu Yadav. Over 200 ticket aspirants have even submitted their biodata to him.”
“If the Jharkhand government is helping lalu to run the party and allowing him to play a political role while violating the jail manual, we will seek the Election Commission’s intervention,” the senior BJP leader said in a series of tweets.
The RJD is a part of the JMM-led coalition government in Jharkhand.
Lalu’s party, however, dismissed the allegations.
“They (the BJP) are suffering from Lalu phobia. Since they have nothing to show for by way of work to the voters, they are levelling baseless allegations,” RJD spokesperson Mrityunjay Tiwari said in Patna.
Lalu Yadav is serving time in jail in four fodder scam cases.
He was shifted to the Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS) because of medical issues and then to the vacant bungalow of the director of the facility after some of his attendants reportedly tested positive for COVID-19.
“Lalu was convicted in four cases of the Rs 1,000 crore fodder scam but Jharkhand’s Hemant Soren government shifted him from jail to RIMS and then to an imposing bungalow.
“If a prisoner convicted of corruption is enjoying 5- star hospitality as a state guest, the CBI should take cognisance on its own,” Mr Modi said in tweets in Hindi.
Bihar assembly elections are due in October-November.
A public interest litigation (PIL) was filed on Monday in the Jharkhand High Court seeking transfer of the RJD president back to jail. The petitioner has alleged that since Lalu’s party is in the coalition government, he is enjoying benefits he is not entitled to as a convicted prisoner.
Echoing Mr Modi’s allegations, Jharkhand BJP chief Deepak Prakash said the RIMS’ director’s bungalow has become “Rajniti ka akhara” (a centre of politics) in “brazen violation of prison rules”.
Lalu’s elder son Tej Pratap Yadav had met him past Thursday and the two are believed to have discussed the upcoming elections.
Meanwhile, Hamid Ansari, the superintendent of Birsa Munda Jail, where the RJD chief was initially lodged, said under the prison manual he could meet a maxium of three people every Saturday.
He, however, declined to comment on whether the prison manual was being violated in Lalu’s case.
Mr Ansari said he has requested Ranchi Senior Superintendent of Police to issue instructions to prevent gatherings at RIMS which houses the bungalow where the RJD boss is lodged.