Patna (Bihar), December 23, 2017 “Jagannath Mishra ko bail, Lalu Yadav ko jail, Yahi hai Narendra Modi ka khel.” (Bail to Jagannath Mishra, jail to Lalu Prasad, this is the game of Narendra Modi). This was how former Union minister for rural development and RJD vice president Raghuvansh Prasad Singh reacted. In fact, in this emotionally surcharged atmosphere he made a mistake. Dr Mishra did not get bail, he was actually acquitted and Singh should have used the word ‘bari’.
It was natural for him to take this stand as he is one of the oldest partymen who has always stood behind his party leader Lalu Prasad.
But a top-ranking journalist of India, who is originally from Ranchi and from where he started his journalism and had worked in many places of the country too expressed surprise “as to how can Dr Jagannath Mishra be acquitted and Lalu Prasad convicted in the same case.”
The said journalist had done more than a hundred stories on fodder scam–when he was in Ranchi and Patna in late 1980s and early 1990s.
However, while talking to TMC he hastened to add that he would come to the conclusion only after reading the judgement. But the doubt was clearly in his mind.
Incidentally, both Dr Mishra, a three-time chief minister of Bihar and Lalu Prasad were convicted in another fodder scam case in 2013. Then why both of them have been treated differently this time?
Legal experts too are of the view that it would be wrong to cast any aspersion on the court ruling.
But rightly or wrongly a message has gone in the masses: that Dr Mishra has been acquitted because he is at present in the BJP–though many in the saffron party themselves do not know–and Lalu Prasad is the biggest opponent of the BJP.