RANCHI: Most political leaders are blessed with the gift of the gab, but probably not as generously as the one bestowed on Lalu Prasad Yadav, so much so that the RJD chief had the cheek to enter into a banter with even the special CBI judge who nailed him.
Despite being sentenced 3.5 years in jail only four days ago, he did not for once seem dejected when he appeared in the special CBI courts hearing the fodder scam cases on Wednesday.
On the contrary, he engaged in a light-hearted chat with judge Shivpal Singh before he attended the proceedings in the Dumka treasury case. It was Singh who had sentenced Yadav to 3.5 years jail and fined him Rs 10 lakh on January 6 in the case of fraudulent withdrawal of Rs 89.27 lakh of public money by the Bihar animal husbandry department from Deoghar district treasury in undivided Bihar. The conversation that followed, witnesses present in the courtroom said, filled the room briefly with smiles.
When Singh enquired whether Yadav was facing problems in jail, the latter complained that the authorities were not letting him meet his party leaders and other visitors. To this, the judge said visitors will only be allowed following the jail manual. “This is why I recommended you to be taken in an open jail,” Singh added.
The 69-year-old leader’s quick reply was: “There will be genocide if the workers are stopped in open jail. All the 20,000 policemen in Jharkhand will have to be deployed in the security.” Singh shot back saying there would be no such thing.
Yadav complained he was being treated like a “common prisoner”. To this, Singh asserted that “law was equal for all, including mass leaders”. On Wednesday, the ex-CM pleaded before Singh to deliver his judgment in the Dumka treasury case soon. “Sir, please sentence me to 2.5 years of imprisonment in this case,” Yadav pleaded. “Why do you say this? Such statements are not to be made,” Singh shot back.
With Makar Sankranti just days away, Yadav rued before Singh about the fact that he could not eat ‘dahi-chura ‘ this time for being in jail. To that, the judge said: “We will have dahi-chura here itself. I will order it if you say.”
Yadav’s reply was witty. “No sir, this is a thing of the Yadavs. If I eat dahi-chura with you, I might end up in a problem like Syed Shahabuddin of Siwan,” he said, prompting everyone to break into laughter.