In the months after the Supreme Court revived fodder scam cases this May that accuse Bihar's two former chief ministers Lalu Yadav and Jagannath Mishra of conspiracy, Lalu Yadav had gone on an overdrive to unequivocally establish his younger son as the party's leader in his absence.
Tejashwi, who was the Deputy Chief Minister when the RJD was in power in alliance with Nitish Kumar's party, was later named the leader of the opposition. Days after Tejashwi turned 28 last month, Lalu Yadav also got the party that he founded to formally declare Tejashwi Yadav as its Chief Ministerial face for the 2020 assembly elections.
Tejashwi Yadav, who was by his father's side in 2013, has accompanied him to Ranchi this time too. He told NDTV that he is hopeful the court would deliver "complete justice". But if things do not turn out the way, the former Deputy Chief Minister suggested, he is ready to step into his father's big shoes.
"It is a big role but with the trust of party leaders and workers... if a situation arises, we can face the challenges," he told NDTV.
The next year, the high court quashed the trial in other cases, accepting Lalu Yadav's plea that he could not be punished for the same crime of conspiracy more than once. In May this year, the Supreme Court, acting on a delayed appeal by the CBI filed after a change in government at the Centre, rejected this contention, treating each case as a separate one.
On the face of it, Lalu Yadav suggests that his hopes of an acquittal are high, citing the decisions of a Delhi court throwing out the CBI charges in the 2G case and the Mumbai high court refusing to allow former Maharashtra Chief Minister Ashok Chavan's prosecution in the Adarsh housing society scandal.
"We trust and respect the judiciary. It won't let BJP's conspiracies work. What happened in the 2G case, what happened with Ashok Chavan's case will happen with us too," Lalu Yadav told NDTV.
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