Patna, Oct 6 (IANS) Jailed Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Lalu Prasad and his wife Rabri Devi - both former Bihar chief ministers - will jointly lead the party, it was announced Sunday.
Rabri Devi, who earlier said Lalu Prasad would continue to be the RJD leader, also declared she would not contest the Lok Sabha elections from the Saran constituency, represented by her husband.
"It was unanimously decided by RJD leaders and workers gathered here that Lalu Prasad would continue to lead the RJD from prison and Rabri Devi from outside. Now Lalu-Rabri together would lead the party," RJD general secretary Ram Kripal Yadav told media here after a meeting of the RJD at 10 Circular road, Rabri Devi's official residence.
The RJD also announced that Lalu Prasad would continue to be national president of the party.
The RJD meeting was attended by senior party leaders, legislators and MPs and discussed the strategy to run the party while Lalu Prasad is behind bars. It was the first party meeting following his sentencing by a special CBI court in Ranchi last week.
"In the meeting, Lalu Prasad's message from jail was read out before party leaders and workers. He urged the party leaders and workers to fight against communal forces and communalism," said state RJD president Ramchandra Purve.
Speaking to reporters here earlier, Rabri Devi said: "I will not contest elections either from Saran or any other seat."
Lalu Prasad was disqualified as MP after being convicted and jailed in the 1996 fodder scam. He won his Lok Sabha seat from Saran in 2004 and 2009.
She added that their daughter Misa Bharti too would not contest from Patna.
Lalu Prasad was jailed for five years on Oct 3 by the special Central Bureau of Investigation court in Ranchi in the fodder scam case. Along with him, former Bihar chief minister Jagannath Mishra and 43 others have been convicted of fraudulently withdrawing over Rs.37 crore from the state treasury.
The RJD chief is currently lodged in Birsa Munda Central Jail in Ranchi.