Lalu Prasad gets 5 years in jail

Lalu Prasad gets 5 years in jail

0

A court sentenced Lalu Prasad Yadav, a powerful ally of the ruling Congress party, to five years in jail on Thursday for siphoning off
state funds, underlining that a wave of public disgust with rampant corruption is finally catching up with the nation’s politicians.
The sentence means that Lalu Prasad Yadav will lose his seat in the Lok Sabha, making him the first to be hit by a Supreme Court ruling in
July – reflecting the popular mood – that convicts may not sit in legislatures even during an appeal.
“Five years is a big one, the message of this will ring across the nation, especially in political circles,” said Sankarshan Thakur, the
author of a book on the convicted politician. Yadav shot to power from humble beginnings, championing the cause of “lower castes” in the
rigid Hindu social hierarchy.
Arvind Singh, joint secretary of the bar association in Ranchi where the sentence was handed down, said Yadav would serve five years of
“rigorous” imprisonment and was fined 2.5 million rupees.
Yadav, 65, a former railways minister was convicted along with dozens of others earlier this week for his part in a 1990s animal fodder
racket in Bihar in which millions of dollars went missing. Yadav was the chief minister of Bihar for most of the 1990s and was succeeded by
his wife.
His conviction and expulsion from parliament presents the Congress party with a dilemma as it heads into an election, due by next May,
whose outcome will most likely depend on coalition alliances.
In a move critics say was designed to shield Yadav and other allies, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s cabinet hurriedly passed an executive
order last week that would have allowed convicted lawmakers to stay in office and stand for election.
Amid the outcry that followed, Rahul Gandhi – a contender for prime minister if the Congress party returns to power in the elections –
slammed the cabinet move as “nonsense”, a stunning intervention by the scion of the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty that embarrassed Singh and made his
government look divided.
In a signal that the dynasty still calls the shots – even though Gandhi is not part of the government – the cabinet agreed on Wednesday
to withdraw the order.
About 30 percent of lawmakers across federal and state assemblies in India, the world’s most populous democracy, have criminal charges
against them, many of them for serious crimes such as murder, rape and kidnapping. Calls for tough action against them have become more
strident in recent years.
Yadav’s party said he would appeal against the conviction. “The legal battle has begun. We will fight this to the end to get him freed,”
said party leader Raghuvansh Prasad. – bdnews24.com

Share.
Loading...

Comments are closed.