Lalu appoints wife to run party in his absence

Prasad is currently serving prison sentence in the Birsa Munda Central jail in Ranchi, Jharkhand after being convicted in two separate fodder scam cases in the past two months

Patna: Jailed Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) president Lalu Prasad on Wednesday appointed his wife Rabri Devi, former Bihar chief minister, as the party’s national vice-president to run the organisation in his absence.

Prasad is currently serving prison sentence in the Birsa Munda Central jail in Ranchi, Jharkhand after being convicted in two separate fodder scam cases in the past two months.

A spokesperson of the party said the national executive of the RJD was constituted on the instruction of incarcerated party boss Prasad. The party men have been frequently seeking his guidance by meeting the RJD chief either in the jail or in the court where he has to routinely appear in view of the ongoing trials in the fodder scam cases.

Reports said Rabri Devi was handed out the responsibility to properly run the party and look after the party affairs in the absence of her husband who is facing trials in three more fodder scam cases. Prasad has already been sentenced in three cases with the punishment ranging from 3.5 years to five years in jail.

This is the second time in quick succession that Prasad had turned to his wife for help. In July 1997, Prasad had appointed his wife the chief minister while going to jail in the fodder scam. She remained in power for eight years before being defeated by NDA leader Nitish Kumar in the 2005 assembly elections.

In another significant decision, the RJD has removed incarcerated Mohammad Shahabuddin as a member in the working committee and appointed his wife Heena Sahab in his place. Shahabuddin is currently lodged in the high-security Tihar Jail in Delhi.

Prasad has also included his children Misa Bharti, Rajya Sabha member, Tej Pratap Yadav and Tejashwi Yadav, both former ministers, as members in the executive committee.

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