New Delhi, Oct : The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Thursday said the five-year jail term for Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad Yadav in a fodder scam case is an important milestone in the fight against corruption.
“Today RJD supremo Lalu Prasad Yadav, former Bihar Chief Minister Dr. Jagannath Mishra and Janata Dal-United (JD-U) MP Jagdish Sharma have been sentenced for four to five years. BJP thinks that this is an important milestone in the fight against corruption. The entire country was up and against the corruption, they wanted results and today the legal process reached a decision, and we welcome it,” BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar told media here today.
Javadekar also alleged that there is massive corruption under the UPA regime.
“But people are waiting eagerly for next stage of verdict in various bigger scams like the CWG, 2G and Coal scam. Because clear message is delivered that corruption can’t be the mainstay of politics, politics cannot be improved,” he added.
Earlier in the day, a special CBI court in Ranchi had sentenced Lalu Prasad Yadav to five years in prison in connection with the fodder scam case.
The court also slapped a fine of Rs. 25 lakh on Lalu Yadav.
The verdict also disqualifies him from Lok Sabha membership and bars him from contesting elections for six years, according to a recent Supreme Court order.
Former Bihar Chief Minister Dr. Jagannath Mishra and sitting JD (U) MP Jagdish Sharma were sentenced to four years in prison each in the case.
Special CBI Judge Pravas Kumar Singh pronounced the quantum of punishment through video conferencing.
Yadav’s lawyers earlier argued that he was too old and suffered from many diseases, to counter the CBI’s plea for maximum punishment of seven years in jail for the RJD supremo in the fodder scam case.
Lalu and other convicts are currently lodged in the Birsa Munda Central Jail in Ranchi.
In all, 45 fodder scam accused had been convicted in the case and the judge had delivered the sentence against eight of them on September 30 itself.
The fodder scam also known as “Chara Ghotala” involved the siphoning of funds from the Bihar Government treasury.
The alleged theft spanned over several years, and many Bihar state government administrative and elected officials across multiple administrations were allegedly engaged in it.
The fodder scam was unearthed in Bihar in 1996 when Lalu Prasad was the Chief Minister of the state. He had resigned from the post in 1997 after a court issued an arrest warrant against him in connection with one of the cases. (ANI)