Lalu had offered help to pull down Grand Alliance govt for fodder scam case relief: Sushil Modi

Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi said Lalu Prasad had approached Jaitley ‘three to four times’ through his emissary. (File)

In stunning claims, Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi Wednesday alleged that RJD supremo Lalu Prasad Yadav had met Union Minister Arun Jaitley and offered to bring down the Grand Alliance government in the state to bring a BJP-led dispensation in power if the CBI went soft in fodder scam cases against him.

Addressing a press conference, Modi said that Lalu Prasad had approached Jaitley "three to four times" through his emissary, former Union minister Prem Chand Gupta. However, Jaitley had snubbed Yadav’s offer following which the RJD chief himself met the Union minister, Modi claimed.

"Jaitley curtly told them that the CBI is an autonomous agency in whose functioning the government does not interfere. Lalu Prasad always spews venom against the BJP-RSS but never shies away from seeking our help whenever it serves his purpose," the BJP leader said.

Giving further details about the incident, Modi said Lalu had approached Jaitley after the Jharkhand High Court ordered that separate trials would not be held in the six fodder scam cases against the RJD chief.

"Separate trials meant more trouble for the RJD supremo and, hence, he sent his emissary Prem Chand Gupta to Jaitley with his offer in exchange for the CBI either not appealing against the High Court order or weakening its arguments before the apex court once the appeal was filed," Modi said.

Accusing the RJD leader of maintaining "double standards", the Bihar deputy CM said while on one hand, Prasad forged an alliance with JD(U), on the other, he was trying to finish off Chief Minister Nitish Kumar politically.

"We think Nitish Kumar too must have got a whiff of these shenanigans. Moreover, after they together won the assembly polls in 2015 and RJD emerged as the largest party, Lalu and his cohorts never lost an opportunity to remind the JD(U) leader that he owed his position to them," he said.

The Grand Alliance of RJD, JD(U) and Congress had won the 2015 Bihar Assembly elections. The alliance was in power till July 2017 after Kumar returned to the NDA following sharp differences with the RJD over corruption allegations against Tejashwi Yadav and his family.

Reacting to Modi’s allegations, Tejashwi said it reflected the BJP’s worry of an impending electoral defeat. The Leader of the Opposition in Bihar also said Modi was "mentally bankrupt"

"His allegations that we sought help from the BJP at any point of time show his mental bankruptcy and worry of an impending defeat in the elections. The entire country knows that it was Lalu who had stopped (LK) Advani’s Ayodhya Rath Yatra and has always valiantly fought their communal agenda," Tejashwi tweeted.