Describing the five-year jail term for Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad Yadav in the fodder scam case as historic, Congress leader Meem Afzal on Thursday said that there is no conspiracy and it is a court’s verdict.
“It is historic that a leader like Laluji has been given this verdict. There is no conspiracy, and it is a judgement of the court,” he said.
Meanwhile, Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) president Ram Vilas Paswan assured his party’s full support to RJD after Lalu’s sentencing.
“The LJP-RJD alliance will remain strong, and we will go to the people,” he said.
Earlier in the day, a special CBI court in Ranchi sentenced Yadav to five years in prison in connection with the case.
The court also slapped a fine of Rs25 lakh on Yadav.
The verdict also disqualifies him from his 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 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.