On the day of his surrender before the Jharkhand High Court and likely incarceration following around four months of being out on bail on medical grounds, Republic TV has recorded a video of RJD chief and former Bihar chief minister Lalu Prasad Yadav airing his political opinion whilst in a flight, following which he regaled passengers by making a characteristic (and possibly intentional) gaffe.
The video has been recorded in the flight that Lalu Prasad took from Patna to Ranchi.
In the flight, Lalu Prasad can be seen seated next to a window, and is asked what is on his mind. To this, he says, 'nothing is on my mind', and adds that he's innocent and that he's been falsely implicated.
Lalu Prasad is then asked about the situation in Bihar, to which he addresses Republic TV's reporter and says, 'You know better what's going on in Bihar'.
He elucidates nonetheless, saying, 'The situation in Bihar is a matter of global shame. Law and order, murders, rapes...'
He's then asked about the state of the Mahagathbandhan and on nationwide politics, to which he says, 'It's strong', adding 'we'll decide' when asked who the Prime Ministerial candidate will be.
When asked for his opinion on Congress president Rahul Gandhi, he says 'He's very straightforward (seedha)'. However, when asked whether Rahul Gandhi will become the Prime Minister, Lalu Prasad thinks for a moment and offers a non-committal response.
Views on politics aside, however, the in-flight interview was cut short on account of the plane's captain calling for passengers to take their seats and stop recording video (audible in the video). At this point, the onboard crew comes to Lalu Prasad's seat and asks people to sit down. Ultimately, Lalu Prasad, who till that point had been answering questions, complains to the stewardess, referring to her as 'sister' -- an apparent remnant of his long stay in hospital where he was looked after by nurses -- and complains loudly, "Look sister, he isn't allowing me to eat cashewnuts. He is disturbing me."
("Yeh humko Kaju nahi khaane de raha... isko hataiye yahan se. He is disturbing me")
Lalu Prasad's loud about-face caused the nearby co-passengers to break out into peals of laughter.
After arriving in Ranchi, however, Lalu Prasad was more than happy to talk to the media once again. He spoke to Republic TV about a range of matters, providing more elaborate answers to questions similar to those he was posed aboard the plane.