Rashtriya Janata Dal's jailed president Lalu Prasad Yadav has been booked for "offering ministerial berth" on telephone to BJP MLA Lalan Paswan in a horse-trading bid. The purported call from prasad, who is at Ranchi, serving sentences in a number of fodder scam cases, to Pirpainti MLA Lalan Paswan is said to have been made on Tuesday while the latter was having a meeting with veteran BJP leader and former deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi.
Modi, in a tweet, said that Lalu's advances to Paswan amounted to "bribing" and "alluring" a public servant.
"Lalan Paswan lodged FIR in vigilance Thana ,Patna against Lalu Pd under prevention of corruption act for making telephone calls from custody & offering ministerial berth which amounts to bribing & alluring a public servant," he wrote on Twitter.
Lalan Paswan lodged FIR in vigilance Thana ,Patna against Lalu Pd under prevention of corruption act for making telephone calls from custody & offering ministerial berth which amounts to bribing & alluring a public servant.@ZeeBiharNews @News18Bihar— Sushil Kumar Modi (@SushilModi) November 26, 2020
Late Tuesday night, Sushil Modi tweeted that Prasad was trying to poach NDA MLAs, alluring them with the promise of ministerial berths. He spilled the beans shortly before the Assembly elected BJP leader Vijay Kumar Sinha as the speaker.
In the minute and a half long audio clip, the caller, a lackey of Prasad, dialled the MLAs number and the call was received by the legislator's PA who was surprised to learn that the RJD supremo wanted to speak to his boss. He handed over the phone to Lalan Paswan. As the MLA began with a "pranaam", Prasad uttered "khush rahiye" (be happy).
In the purported call, Prasad can be heard telling the BJP MLA "tomorrow the Speaker is going to be elected. You remain absent. We are going to topple the government. You will be made a minister later on."
The BJP MLA, who wrested his seat from sitting RJD legislator Ram Vilash Paswan, mumbled "it does not look proper, I am in the party". Prasad, however, continued to press Paswan. Prasad asked him to tell party bosses that he has got afflicted with corona and remain absent. The BJP MLA hung up the call sounding non-committal.
Interestingly, the mobile number from which the call was made, which Sushil Modi had shared on Twitter and claimed to have dialled and told Prasad his "dirty tricks" will fail, has since been switched off.