Bihar’s Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi alleged Wednesday that RJD chief Lalu Prasad had met Union minister Arun Jaitley with the offer to help bring down the grand alliance government and install a saffron party dispensation if fodder scam cases against him were watered down.

Addressing a press conference, Modi claimed Finance Minister Jaitley, however, snubbed Prasad, who approached him through his emissary, former Union minister Prem Chand Gupta, and also met him in person.

Slamming Prasad for “always spewing venom against the BJP-RSS combine but never shying away from seeking our help whenever it serves his purpose”, the BJP leader said Jaitley curtly told them that the CBI was an autonomous agency whose functioning the government does not interfere with.

Prasad’s son and Leader of the Opposition in the state assembly Tejashwi Yadav rejected the allegation and said it reflected the BJP’s worry of an impending electoral defeat.

“His allegations that we sought help from the BJP at any point of time show his mental bankruptcy and worry of an impending defeat in the elections. The entire country knows it was Lalu who had stopped (LK) Advani’s Ayodhya Rath Yatra and has always valiantly fought their communal agenda,” he tweeted.

After their dismal performance in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections when a Narendra Modi wave swept the country, Nitish Kumar’s JD(U), RJD and the Congress had formed a grand alliance and stopped the BJP’s juggernaut in Bihar in the 2015 assembly polls.

The three-party alliance was in power till July 2017 when Kumar returned to the NDA following sharp differences with the RJD over allegations of corruption against Tejashwi, who was then the deputy chief minister.

Sushil Modi said the Jharkhand High Court had passed an order in 2014 granting Prasad some relief. The court ordered that separate trials will not be held in the six fodder scam cases against him.

“Separate trials meant more trouble for the RJD supremo and, hence, he sent his emissary Prem Chand Gupta to Jaitley with his offer in exchange for the CBI either not appealing against the High Court order or weakening its arguments before the apex court once the appeal was filed,” Modi claimed.

Gupta, he claimed, met Jaitley three to four times, and when Prasad realised that the negotiations were “bearing no fruit”, he himself called on the Union finance minister.

“Jaitley declined. It has always been the BJP’s line never to help those accused of corruption,” Modi said.

On one hand, Prasad was having an alliance with Nitish Kumar’s JD(U) and on the other he was approaching Jaitley with the offer of helping finish off the chief minister politically, the deputy CM said.

“We think the chief minister too must have got a whiff of these shenanigans. Moreover, after they together won the assembly polls in 2015 and RJD emerged as the largest party, Lalu and his cohorts never lost an opportunity to remind the JD(U) leader that he owed his position to them,” he said.

Sushil Modi recalled how Lalu Prasad won the Patna University Students’ Union polls in the 1970s with the help of the ABVP, the students wing of the RSS. Modi, who was also associated with the ABVP, said after being elected the president of the union, Prasad visited the local RSS office to thank the Sangh.

Sushil Modi said he had learnt about the meetings Prasad and his emissary had with Jaitley from many sources, including Sanjay Jha, a former BJP hand and now a confidant of Nitish Kumar.
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