By Dheeraj Kumar
Patna: She spends majority of time on her bed but Gangotri Devi never fails to inquire about her brother, the irrepressible former Chief Minister of Bihar and Rashtriya Janata Dal supremo Lalu Prasad Yadav from time to time from her sons, one employed in Bihar police and another in railway. She frequently insists on her telephonic conversation with the incarcerated RJD chief asking her sons to arrange it even as her sons find it hard to wriggle out from the difficult moments.
On the eve of a CBI court’s pronouncement of the quantum of punishment to the convicted RJD chief in the fodder scam, the only sister of Lalu is hoping against the hope: “My brother is Bihar government and he could not be put in jail…Lalu`s bahuria (wife) Rabri Devi spends much time in paying obeisance to deities. Lalu will not face trouble, God will protect him.”
Her brother though, in a written plea to CBI judge Shiv Pal Singh, has sought leniency in sentencing on account of his illness and old age. The 69-year-old leader is lodged in the central jail since his conviction on 23 December.
An old adage, “Ignorance is bliss” fits the bill perfectly when Gangotri Devi claims: “How he could do anything wrong. Rich people have falsely implicated him in the scam”.
Gangotri Devi still lives with her two sons in the servant quarter of Patna Veterinary College, which once was an abode for RJD chief. Like any sister, she holds her brother in very high esteem. She keeps insisting like a child to talk to her brother whenever her sleep is disturbed by her anxiety for her brother — “I will not accept that my son has done anything wrong”.
To her, therefore, Lalu’s conviction is nothing more than a part of a larger conspiracy of the rich people. Sitting in a chair at the Servant’s Quarter of the Patna Veteranary College today, she said nonchalantly: “My brother is son of a poor person and he has seen poverty and also always fought for the rights of poor. Rich people have falsely implicated my brother in the scam.”
Recalling her old days, Lalu`s sister Gangotri Devi said, “Our father was financially crippled beyond description and we could seldom think something big. It however never stopped Lalu from talking big and all family members ridiculed him for it. Time changed and he became chief minister of Bihar”.
She said that her brother completed his education with the financial support from wealthy people. She said that RJD Chief was not serious about his studies but attended his classes regularly.
“My brother was a fighter since childhood and was never disappointed even when he obtained less marks in his examinations,” Gangotri Devi added.