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Why Rabri Devi has never gone abroad

October 09, 2018 12:55 IST

Rabri Devi's lawyer told a Delhi court last week that the former chief minister did not have a passport, and that she has never had one, reports M I Khan.

She is probably the only chief minister who never went overseas despite serving a full term in office.

Rabri Devi, former Bihar chief minister and wife of Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Lalu Prasad Yadav, still has no passport in her name.

Rabri Devi, the first woman CM of Bihar who served in office, thrice from 1997 to 2005, has no desire to go abroad. It was revealed by her lawyer to a Delhi court last week when the court asked to surrender her passport after it granted bail to Rabri Devi, her son Tejashwi Yadav and others, in the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) scam case lodged by the Central Bureau of Investigation.

 

Tejashwi has started the process to submit his passport to the court. But Rabri's lawyer informed the court that she hasn't had a passport so far.

"Rabri Devi has no passport," the court was told.

The IRCTC case relates to alleged irregularities in the allotment of contracts of IRCTC hotels in Ranchi and Puri in 2006 -- when Lalu was railway minister -- to a private firm, for which a three-acre commercial plot at a prime location in Patna was allegedly given as quid pro quo.

The Enforcement Directorate filed a chargesheet in August and had named Lalu, Rabri, Tejashwi, his party colleague P C Gupta and wife Sarla Gupta, firm Lara Projects and 10 others as accused.

All of them are booked under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.

Lalu as Bihar CM and later as railway minister visited several foreign countries, including Pakistan. So did Tejashwi while serving as the youngest deputy CM of the state.

Interestingly, two of Lalu and Rabri's seven daughters are living outside India.

"Rabri Devi has never visited a foreign country despite the fact that most of her family members went abroad many times. It may not be known to people," RJD leader Shakti Singh Yadav said.

Unlike other top politicians' wives, Rabri Devi never accompanied her husband on a foreign tour.

"Rabri Devi is happier to look after her home. She is a typical desi gharelu mahila despite being in politics for over two decades," another RJD leader said.

Rabri Devi is currently the Leader of Opposition in the Bihar legislative council.

Rabri served as CM for nearly eight years, a year longer than her husband did.

In 1997, Rabri, then 38 and a political novice, became the chief minister after Lalu was forced to step down from the post following corruption charges in the multi-crore fodder scam.

Since then, opposition leaders had often alleged that Lalu continued to rule Bihar with his school dropout wife as a proxy.

Rabri, a housewife-turned-politician, is known for her down-to-earth approach in public life, too. Even as CM, she was once photographed cooking in the kitchen and serving food to Lalu and her children.

She observed the Chhath festival -- involving fasting for 36 hours -- every year in the traditional way.

Clad in her usual colourful cotton sari with a red bindi on her forehead and surrounded by her daughters, Rabri's Chhath celebration is popular as politicians, irrespective of party affiliations, and people from all faiths and communities visit their house during the festival.

Rabri is also the proud owner of 62 cows and 42 calves. She has revealed this in the affidavit submitted to the court.

M I Khan in Patna