No one is above the law, the BJP and its ally JD (U) said today after a special CBI court sentenced Lalu Prasad to jail in a fodder scam case, while the RJD said its leader has fallen prey to a "conspiracy" by Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and the saffron party.
The special CBI court in Ranchi sentenced Lalu to three-and-a-half years in jail and imposed a fine of Rs 10 lakh on him in the fodder scam case relating to fraudulent withdrawal of Rs 89.27 lakh from the Deoghar Treasury 21 years ago.
BJP leader Shahnawaz Hussain said the verdict shows the law is equal for all.
"The court has done its job, and this is a message that if anyone robs the country of its wealth, however important, then the law is equal for all. This is justice for the people of Bihar because it was their money that was looted," Hussain told reporters.
Janata Dal (United) Secretary General K C Tyagi said a new political chapter has begun with the court's decision and it means politicians will be afraid of committing any such wrongdoing.
"It will now be difficult to keep the RJD together and people in politics will be fearful," he said, when asked about the significance of the court's verdict.
"This is the end of a chapter that started with Laluji's leadership, where there was politics of corruption, nepotism and non-governance," Tyagi told reporters.
Meanwhile, addressing a press conference in Patna, Lalu's son Tejashwi Yadav said the party would go to the people after makarsankranti to make them aware of the "conspiracy" hatched by Nitish Kumar and the BJP against the RJD chief.
"Lalu is paying the price for his uncompromising stance against the BJP. Had he compromised, his detractors would have been comparing him to Raja Harishchandra," the former Deputy CM of Bihar said.
He dismissed suggestions the party may disintegrate with its top leader being behind the bars. "The more we are harassed, the stronger will be the public support in our favour. Lalu resides in the people's hearts".
"He is in jail, yet everybody is being talking about him. The only reason is that the people of Bihar are with us and this scares our opponents."
He also took potshots at the Bihar's ruling JD(U)-BJP combine, saying, "Let the double engine do something for the betterment of Bihar. They should set their own house in order instead of wasting their energy on the future of RJD."