‘My husband’s fight for common people and to help COVID-19 patients in all possible manner will continue,’ says the former MP.
Ranjit Ranjan, wife of imprisoned former MP from Madhepura and president of the Jan Adhikar Party (Loktantrik) Rajesh Ranjan alias Pappu Yadav, has said that her husband’s fight for common people and to help COVID-19 patients in all possible manner would continue and if he is not released from jail within two days she “would sit on a fast-unto-death”.
Mr. Pappu Yadav’s arrest, first for violation of lockdown norms and then under a 32-year-old kidnapping case from Madhepura on May 11, has also created fissures among the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) allies and opposition Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD).
“Pappu Yadav’s fight for exposing lack of medical facilities in hospitals for COVID-19 patients, drug mafias selling oxygen cylinders and life-saving drugs like Remdesivir at exorbitant prices will continue in the State. If he [Pappu Yadav] is not released from jail within two days, I’ll sit on fast-unto-death”, Ms. Ranjan told The Hindu.
The former Congress MP from Supaul, while addressing mediapersons on Thursday, also said that her husband’s arrest was “illegal” as the Supreme Court had recently asked not to arrest people during the pandemic and the court also asked the government to decongest the jails. “If my husband turns COVID-19 positive in the jail, people of Bihar will not forgive Chief Minister Nitish Kumar”.
“I fail to understand why Pappu Yadav was arrested and sent to jail even when he had an operation recently which makes him vulnerable to infection,” charged Ms. Ranjan.
‘Medicinal drug mafias’
She also charged Mr. Kumar, the BJP, party MP from Saran Rajiv Pratap Rudy and others for “hobnobbing with medicinal drug mafias” against Mr. Pappu Yadav to send him to jail as he had been of late exposing them for black marketing life saving drugs for COVID-19 patients and lack of facilities in hospitals.
Recently, Mr. Pappu Yadav had flagged the issue of over 30 ambulances purchased from Mr. Rudy’s MPLAD funds in 2019 being parked idly allegedly at a place owned by Mr. Rudy at his native place Amnour. Mr. Rudy had countered Mr. Pappu Yadav saying the ambulances were lying idle for lack of drivers.
Days later, Mr. Pappu Yadav was taken into police custody from his residence in Patna for violating lockdown norms and kidnapping of Rajkumar Yadav on January 29, 1989 in Madhepura and sent to Birpur jail in Supaul. On Thursday, he was shifted to Darbhanga Medical College and Hospital for medical attention.
Mr. Rajkumar Yadav, however, has said that “it was a case of confusion and he was never kidnapped”.
Fissure among NDA allies
Meanwhile, Mr. Pappu Yadav’s arrest has also created fissures among NDA allies and a split in the RJD. Soon after the arrest, leaders of both the constituents of NDA in Bihar, Jitan Ram Manjhi of the Hindustani Awam Morcha (Secular) and Mukesh Sahani of the Vikashil Insaan Party (VIP) and State Minister, strongly criticised the move.
“If a leader will not be among the people at a crisis time and help them out where should he be? The arrest of Pappu Yadav was insensitive,” Mr. Sahani said in a statement to mediapersons, while Mr. Manjhi said, “Pappu Yadav’s arrest is both undemocratic and dangerous. He was only serving those in need at this difficult time of COVID-19”.
BJP MLC Rajnish Kumar and JD(U) leader Monazir Hassan too described Mr. Pappu Yadav’s arrest as “unfortunate”. “Pappu Yadav was helping people to fight the COVID-19 pandemic by arranging medicines and oxygen to critical patients,” Mr. Hassan said.
Similarly, Tej Pratap Yadav, elder son of RJD chief Lalu Prasad and party MLA, too obliquely hit at the government on the arrest. “Thieves are treated well in Bihar, while those catching them are put behind bars,” he tweeted. However, his party MLA from Madhepura Chandrashekhar, who had defeated Mr. Pappu Yadav in the 2020 Assembly elections, said the arrest was a “big drama”. “The State government has played this game of arrest of Pappu Yadav just to weaken the social justice campaign and create confusion in society,” he told mediapersons.
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