- Lalu Yadav is planning an agitation, will announce it this week
- On Wednesday, a local court is expected to sentence Mr Yadav
- Mr Yadav faces several cases in what is called the fodder scam
At his home in Patna, his family hosted guests. The impact of the RJD chief's absence was visible. The usual crowd of visitors that throngs the 10 Circular Road residence was missing and the few leaders of the RJD and ally Congress who arrived, seemed downcast.
"Everyone here in Bihar or outside Bihar knows what's happening with Lalu-ji, so I don't want to say much," said his wife Rabri Devi, who was flanked by her sons Tejashwi Yadav and Tej Pratap Yadav at their 10 Circular Road residence in Patna. Lalu Yadav has alleged that his conviction is conspiracy by the opposition.
Those who met Lalu Yadav at the Jharkhand jail said he has chalked out a plan for an agitation which will be announced on January 6. Before that, on Wednesday, a local court is expected to sentence Mr Yadav, who was found guilty of corruption and convicted last week. Mr Yadav faces several cases in what is called the fodder scam, which involved the embezzlement of more than Rs. 970 crore in government funds in the 1990s. He has already been convicted in another fodder scam case four years ago and spent two months in jail before being given bail.
The RJD chief is unlikely to be in court for his sentencing, said his son Tejashwi Yadav, who was Bihar's deputy chief minister when the RJD was a partner in the Bihar government of chief minister Nitish Kumar. In July last year, Mr Kumar dumped the RJD and the Congress and partnered with the BJP.
"You cannot trust anyone blindly," said Tejashwi Yadav, in a reference to Nitish Kumar, adding, "I have seen it all, but one has to accept the challenges and shoulder the responsibilities (of the party now that his father is in jail)."
During his last stint in a Ranchi jail, with his ally Hemant Soren as Chief Minister of Jharkhand, Lalu Yadav was given VIP treatment. Even the chief Minister came to meet him at the guesthouse that had been converted into a jail.
The state has a BJP government now with Raghubar Das as chief minister, who ignored Mr Yadav's request that he be allowed more visitors as he is a political leader. Jail authorities have refused him any visitors after the first three, although he is allowed a cook for his special diet and has access to a television and newspapers.