RANCHI: Reacting to Former Bihar chief minister Lalu Prasad Yadav's conviction in fodder scam, his younger son and RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav on Saturday said they would appeal in the High Court countering the judgement.
Earlier in the day, a special CBI court sentenced his father Lalu Prasad to three-and-a-half years in jail and a fine of Rs 10 lakh in the fodder scam case relating to fraudulent withdrawal of Rs 89.27 lakh from the Deoghar Treasury 21 years ago.
"Lalu is not the name of a person but of an ideology. We, his followers, will not be cowed down," the 28-year-old Leader of Opposition in the state assembly told PTI.
The CBI court had issued a contempt notice against Tejashwi for criticizing its December 23 judgement whereby Lalu was convicted.
"The lower court has pronounced its judgement which we respect. We have full faith in judiciary," Tejashwi said.
"We will study the judgement and then decide on what legal options to exercise," he added.
If the quantum of sentence was less than three years, the bail plea would have been moved before the trial court itself, he said.
"Since that does not appear to be the case, we will have to do so before the high court where we will also appeal against the conviction."
Tejashwi charged Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and the BJP for "conspiring against Lalu, whose immense mass appeal and willingness to courageously take on communal forces have always left his detractors insecure".
Tejashwi said the party would go to people after makarsankranti to make them aware of the "conspiracy" hatched by Nitish Kumar and the BJP against Lalu.
"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 quipped.
He also dismissed suggestions the party may disintegrate with its top leader being behind the bars, saying "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 talking about him. The only reason is that the people of Bihar are with us and this scares our opponents," he added.
Yadav also took potshots at the 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".
(With PTI inputs)