ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Fodder Scam, Lalu, and the Conviction

Lalu Prasad Yadav's long innings in the politics of Bihar has most probably come to an end with the Central Bureau of Investigation's special court convicting him in the fodder scam case. For all his political acumen and grandiose rhetoric, a term of 11 years in the political wilderness after the conviction is very unlikely to see either him or his Rashtriya Janata Dal re-emerge as potent forces.

Former Bihar Chief Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav has been in jail in the past too, but in different circumstances. In 1975-77, he was held under the infamous Maintenance of Internal Security Act (MISA), a preventive detention law that was later repealed, and then for briefer periods six times after 1997 in connection with the case of having misappropriated crores meant to be spent on animal husbandry. His imprisonment now is on specific charges under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988, though he pulled out all stops and used all the provisions in the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) to postpone it. In the 17 years after the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) began its investigation into the case, Yadav not only managed to stay afloat on the political scene, but also conducted the affairs of the state government from inside jails and became a union minister. He did this even as many others convicted in 44 of the 53 cases to do with siphoning off government money faded from the political scene. Now, unless the CBI special court verdict is set aside by the higher judiciary, Yadav also might fade away from the Bihar political scene that he dominated for a couple of decades after 1990.

Beginnings of the Scam

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