Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad Yadav today targeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi for allegedly "leading the country towards Emergency" and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar over what he described as the absence of law and order in the state. Mr Yadav likened the Janata Dal United (JDU) president to Roman emperor Nero who "fiddled while Rome burned". The phrase is often used to describe a person who "occupies oneself with unimportant matters and neglect priorities during a crisis".
The Jharkhand High Court had in May granted Lalu Prasad Yadav, convicted in four fodder scam cases, six weeks provisional bail on medical grounds. He was restrained from addressing any public event or participating in any political activity or making any statements during this period.
His request for a three-month parole extension for further treatment was, however, rejected by the court.
Mr Yadav, who was being treated at the Asian Heart Institute in Mumbai, returned to Patna last week and would surrender before the CBI court in Ranchi on Thursday.
Before heading back to jail, the former Bihar chief minister took a swipe at Prime Minister Narendra Modi and condemned the raids and arrests of activists.
"Modi ji has failed on all fronts. Intellectuals, writers and activists are being arrested and raided. Leaders of non-BJP parties are also being targeted and harassed over frivolous reasons. The BJP does not want to face the opposition in 2019," Mr Yadav said.
He also blamed PM Modi for his demonetisation decision which he said "killed the country".
Mr Yadav also threw darts at friend-turned-critic Nitish Kumar for failing to ensure safety of women and children in Bihar. He referred to the sexual abuse of over 30 inmates at a shelter run by a government-funded NGO. "Whatever happened in Muzzafarpur shelter is shameful and unfortunate. Nitish Kumar is answerable," he said.
He also said that his family is being unnecessarily dragged from one case to another just to keep them out of the election campaign. He dismissed all charges against his wife Rabri Devi and son Tejashwi Yadav in the IRCTC hotels money laundering case.
The RJD chief is looking forward to the national election next year and has shown complete faith in the opposition unity. The opposition parties have to work together and keep aside their egos and differences, he suggested.
"We have a bigger task at hand. We have to save our country, we have to save the constitution and democracy," he said.
He also suggested that one should not waste their energies on debating "who will be the prime minister". "All the leaders in the opposition are learned people. They will discuss and decide when the time will be right. It's not a difficult task," he said.
Mr Yadav, convicted in a multi-million-rupee scam involving the embezzlement of government funds in Bihar meant for cattle fodder in the 1990s when he was chief minister of undivided Bihar.
He was convicted in the first fodder scam case related to the Chaibasa Treasury on September 2013. He was again convicted in another case related to the Chaibasa Treasury on January 2018. Between February and March, he was convicted in cases related to the Deoghar Treasury and the Dumka Treasury.