As elections get closer in Bihar, political parties have intensified their preparations. In particular, what will be the strategy of the main opposition party, RJD, all eyes are on it. The party’s national president, Lalu Prasad Yadav, seems unlikely to come out of judicial custody before the Bihar elections. His absence could prove to be a major setback for the party.
Lalu Yadav Convicted in Four Fodder Scam Cases
So far, RJD supremo Lalu Prasad Yadav, convicted in four cases related to the fodder scam, has secured bail in two cases. However, the hearing on his bail plea in the third case has been adjourned till October 9 by the Jharkhand High Court. He was sentenced to five years in the case and has yet to file a bail petition in the fourth case.
Third Case Hearing on October 9
Lawyer Kapil Sibal gave a statement on the issue of Lalu Prasad Yadav’s bail. He said: ‘The judges are applying the principle in this case that only after completing half of their sentence will they be eligible for bail and I was told at the hearing last Friday that according to their calculations, there were still 26 days left to serve half the sentence of Lalu Yadav.
Preparing to give Bail Petition in the Fourth Case
Kapil Sibal further said, ‘Therefore, we have asked the judge to adjourn it till 9 October after a 90-minute hearing. However, the CBI opposed the bail saying that we cannot get bail at all. Advocate Devarshi Mandal of Lalu Yadav’s Ranchi said a bail petition is yet to be filed in a fourth case.
Will Lalu Yadav come out of Jail before the Election?
The fourth case related to Lalu Yadav is more complicated because, in March 2018, the court sentenced him to seven years under the IPC and seven years under the PC Act and said that the sentence would be 14 years. Bihar elections are due in October-November. Lalu Prasad Yadav’s legal team calculates that he has already spent nearly 40 months in jail, including the pre-trial period.
Lalu Yadav still has 26 Days Left
The calculation follows a High Court order last December in which his bail plea in the fourth case was dismissed on the grounds that he had spent only 31 months in jail by then. In the third case, where he was sentenced to five years, the RJD chief’s legal team admitted that half of the sentence was completed earlier this year and he filed a bail plea in June. However, the court said in a previous hearing that Lalu Yadav still has 26 days left in half the sentence.
What will be the Impact of the Election in the Absence of the RJD Chief?
Currently, in the absence of Lalu Yadav, Tejashwi Yadav is continuously engaged in the strategic preparation of the party. However, just before the elections, many party leaders and MLAs have turned hostile, which is being considered a major setback for the RJD. At the same time, many veteran leaders within the party said that the absence of Lalu Yadav is affecting the election preparedness of RJD. In such a situation, what will be the strategy of Tejashwi Yadav and other leaders for the upcoming elections?