'Framed' Lalu will prove innocence in fodder scam case: Digvijay Singh

Mysore, Sept. 30 : Expressing his sadness over Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) president Lalu Prasad Yadav's conviction in connection with the multi-crore fodder scam, Congress general secretary Digvijay Singh said the former will provide evidences of his innocence before a higher court.

"I am sad about the fact that Lalu Prasad Yadavji has been found guilty. He has been framed. And, I am hopeful that he will provide evidences in the higher court to prove his innocence," Singh told media here.

"He has been a trusted and an old partner of the Congress Party," he added.

In a major blow to RJD before the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, Lalu was today convicted by a special CBI court in Ranchi in a fodder scam case that disqualifies him from Parliament and renders him ineligible for contesting elections for at least six years.

The RJD chief, who faces a minimum jail term of three years and a maximum of seven years, has now been taken into custody and taken to Ranchi's Birsa Munda Jail.

As per a recent Supreme Court verdict, a legislator convicted in a case where the minimum sentence is two years in jail will lose his or her seat immediately.

Another 44 accused, including former Bihar Chief Minister Dr. Jagannath Mishra, six politicians and four IAS officers, were also convicted by court of Pravas Kumar Singh for fraudulent withdrawal of Rs 37.7 crore from Chaibasa treasury.

The court has fixed October 3 for pronouncement of sentence against Yadav, Mishra and others.

The fodder scam also known as "Chara Ghotala" involved the siphoning of funds from the Bihar Government treasury. The alleged theft spanned over several years, and many Bihar state government administrative and elected officials across multiple administrations were allegedly engaged in it.

The fodder scam was unearthed in Bihar in 1996 when Lalu Prasad was the Chief Minister of the state. He had resigned from the post in 1997 after a court issued an arrest warrant against him in connection with one of the cases.

--ANI (Posted on 30-09-2013)

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