Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Lalu Prasad Yadav was on Monday released from Birsa Munda Central Jail in Ranchi, two-and-a-half months after he was convicted in a fodder scam case.
The former Bihar Chief Minister was released after he completed the bail formalities in a Special Central Bureau of Investigation court as directed by the Supreme Court.
Yadav came out of the main gate and paid obeisance to the tribal icon statue in jail premises. "I will go around the country to strengthen the secular forces and Narendra Modi or the Bharatiya Janata Party or the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh will not be allowed to fulfill their dreams," a relieved Lalu told reporters soon after release.
Hundreds of RJD supporters greeted him on his release. The RJD chief, another former Bihar Chief Minister Jagannath Mishra and 43 others were on September 30 convicted by a special CBI court in the fodder scam case involving fraudulent withdrawal of Rs 37.7 crore from Chaibasa Treasury during the Prasad-led RJD regime.
The RJD chief is scheduled to visit the DeoriTemple, an RJD spokesman said.After the Jharkhand high court had rejected his bail plea, he had moved the apex court and obtained bail on Friday.
Following his release, the Janata Dal-United and BJP leaders are restless as it will provide fresh oxygen to initiate a move for coming together of all the secular and progressive forces including the RJD, the Congress, the Lok Janshakti Party and the left parties in Bihar.
"Lalu’s presence will make a big difference for his party and likely to help formation of new alliance in the state,” a senior JD-U leader said on condition not to be quoted his name.
“Laluji will work for a wider secular formation in Bihar to halt our main rival the BJP’s march to power at the Centre. He will surely succeed,”Lalu’s wife and former Bihar former Chief Minister Rabri Devi said newspersons.
Rabri has made it clear that the RJD, which is already in alliance with the LJP’s Ramvilas Paswan, is willing for alliance with the Congress to take on the BJP and the JD-U in a three-pronged fight in the Lok Sabha polls.
“Our rivals the BJP and the JD-U were happy when Laluji was jailed in early October as they thought that they will dominate politics in Bihar in his absence. Now things will be more difficult for both because he would galvanise the party workers and the people and campaign for the party,”she said.
The BJO and the JD-U know that Laluji is the most charismatic leader and still enjoys support among masses. He is bound to create trouble for them,” Rabri said.
Considered Lalu’s traditional supporter, the BJP was trying hard to get support of the Yadavs. Muslims, who constitute 16.5 per cent of the population and Yadavs, who constitute more than 11 per cent of Bihar's 105 million population, are considered not only loyal to Lalu but is also a strong force to counter upper caste dominance in state politics more than two decades.
“The JD-U and BJP tried their level best to break the RJD in Lalu’s absence but failed. The party has emerged stronger than it was before,”RJD leader Ghulam Ghosh said.
LJP chief Ram Vilas Paswan said the bail had come at the right time. "Laluji's presence will further strengthen our alliance," he said, adding that the Congress should join hands with the LJP and the RJD.
Nitish Kumar declined to comment although his JD-U called it a routine judicial process.
With inputs from PTI