Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Tihar-return Pappu talks education

PATNA: Madhepura RJD MP and murder convict Pappu Yadav on Tuesday vowed instant financial help to poor students willing to study at IITs, IIMs or
any other educational institute. "Just send a letter to me and help will come within 24 hours," he said. Whether it is a genuine gesture of help or just a poll stunt will be known only later. However, Pappu, on his return to Bihar following his release from the Tihar jail, made no secret of his plan to woo the youths as his support base for future. Pappu was accorded a rousing welcome by his supporters on his arrival at the Patna airport. He was accompanied by his wife and LJP MP from Saharsa Ranjita Ranjan. The RJD MP, awarded life term in the CPM MLA Ajit Sarkar murder case by a CBI court here, was granted bail by the Patna High Court last month. He was shifted from Patna's Beur jail to Tihar in February 2005 on the order of the Supreme Court on a petition alleging that he was tampering with evidence and threatening witnesses in the murder case even from inside the Patna prison. After their arrival, the husband-wife duo attended a function at Patna College. Interestingly, the function was jointly organized by an outfit called "Student Youth Power" headed by Yadav himself and "Friends of Anand" comprising sympathizers of his arch political rival Anand Mohan. Convicted in the case of murder of former Gopalganj DM G Krishnaiah, Anand is currently lodged in Beur jail. Pappu-Ranjita insisted they would not talk politics as it was a non-political forum. Incidentally, RJD chief Lalu Prasad has already announced that Pappu won't be given party ticket to contest the coming Lok Sabha polls as convicts cannot contest polls. The Madhepura MP, however, has petitioned the apex court, seeking a stay on the conviction so that he could contest the polls. In an apparent bid to woo the young brigade, Pappu said he would press for the installation of a statue of Rahul Raj -- the Patna youth who was killed by the police in Mumbai last year after he allegedly hijacked a bus there -- on the Patna College campus. "The combination of knowledge and power creates an energy which can change the country. During the last eight years in jail, I learnt the importance of education," he said, adding he would take the examination for a degree in disaster management from IGNOU this year. He said he would go to his hometown Purnia soon.