The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has fostered violence in Bihar, jailed Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad claimed on Thursday, and indicated that Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s position was also ruined in effect.
“There are riots and incidents of violence all over Bihar. After locking me up, BJP has set the whole state ablaze. Nitish Kumar is finished now,” Prasad told reporters when he arrived at the New Delhi railway station. Owing to his deteriorating health, the former Bihar chief minister has been brought to Delhi for treatment at AIIMS Hospital.
Prasad’s statement was a reference to the communal clashes that broke out in Bihar’s Bhagalpur, on March 17, during a procession that was carried out by workers from BJP, RSS and Bajrang Dal, and was led by Union Minister Ashwini Choubey’s son, Arijit Shashwat. An FIR was registered against Shashwat and others, for instigating the violence, but the continued delay in his arrest has been a shot in the arm for the Opposition, which has held the BJP-JD(U) government accountable for the same. Asked about his health condition, the RJD chief said it was not good at the moment.
Senior advocate Chittaranjan Sinha, who has been handling the fodder scam cases for Prasad from the very beginning, said the 69-year-old RJD chief is suffering from diabetes, high creatinine levels and blood pressure. “His condition was not suitable for flying and the doctors at RIMS advised him to travel by train,” Sinha said.
The former chief minister had been convicted in four fodder scam cases since 2013 – the latest being the Dumka treasury case, in which a special CBI court sentenced him to 14 years of imprisonment. The Jharkhand High Court is to hear on April 6 his bail plea in the connection with his conviction in the third fodder scam – RC 68A/96 case – pertaining to fraudulent withdrawal of Rs 37.62 crore from Chaibasa Treasury, advocate Sinha said.