"We were waiting for this kind of conviction for a long time. During the 'Jungle Raj' Lalu Prasad, quite a few things happened in Bihar," said BJP spokesperson Nirmala Sitharaman.
BJP leader Prakash Javadekar said: "We welcome the court's verdict. It is a very important milestone in the fight against corruption."
"This judgment is a lesson. If you commit corruption with impunity, the law will catch you," said BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad.
Meanwhile, the Congress that had Yadav's support on several issues played safe.
"We are not in alliance since 2009. Of course his four MPs support the UPA government, but everyone is equal before the law," said Congress General Secretary Shakeel Ahmed.
Former IPS officer and social activist Kiran Bedi tweeted: "Lalu gets 5 yrs in jail with fine!But what about gains of crime?Crores lost whose benefit he had all these past years?Those too be recovered."
"Lalu's gets 5 yrs in jail with fine of 25 Lakhs.This is not enough. We must recover proceeds of crime too! Only then crime will stop paying," she said in another tweet.
"In Lalu's crime its known how much he fraudulently withdrew and benefits he has had since.Punishment to be salutary must recover moneys too," said Bedi.
"Judiciary needs to make an example of Lalu's case to deter others that you cannot enjoy proceeds of crime and trade off with few yrs in jail," Bedi posted on micro-blogging site Twitter.
Lalu Prasad Yadav was sentenced to five years in jail on Thursday by a special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court in Ranchi in connection with a multi-crore fodder scam during his tenure as the Bihar Chief Minister.
The former Indian Railway minister has also been fined Rs 25 lakh.
The RJD party said it would appeal the verdict and punishment in a higher court.
The 66-year-old was sent to prison in Ranchi on Monday after being convicted of embezzling crores of rupees in the scam.
He was found guilty along with Congress leader Jagannath Mishra, who has also served as chief minister of Bihar, and two leaders of the ruling Janata Dal-United (JD-U) in the case that has stretched over 17 years.
Jagannath Mishra has been sentenced to four years in jail.
With this conviction, Yadav will now lose his Lok Sabha membership due to a recent Supreme Court judgement that ruled a legislator convicted in a case where the minimum sentence is two years in jail will lose their seat immediately.
The case against Yadav is based on the misuse of Rs 37 crores of public money as part of a larger scam that saw Rs 950 crores being used to pay fictitious bills for medicines and fodder for cattle in Bihar.
The CBI had alleged that as chief minister, Yadav accepted kickbacks, was aware of the financial malevolence of officials who he "constantly shielded and patronised."
On Sept 17, the court had reserved its verdict in the case while the Supreme Court on Aug 13 dismissed the plea of Yadav to transfer his trial in the case to another judge.
While Yadav did not speak to the media after the verdict was delivered in a packed courtroom, his son Tejaswi vowed to fight the ruling in a higher court and in "the court of the people".
Yadav's wife Rabri Devi earlier said she and her son will run the party in the absence of Yadav like "Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi run Congress."
--IBNS (Posted on 03-10-2013)