From becoming one of India’s youngest Lok Sabha members at the age of 29 to holding high profile cabinet portfolios at the centre, RJD supremo Lalu Prasad Yadav has emerged as one of the most prominent leaders and the ‘King Maker’ in Indian Politics.
We bring you 7 interesting facts about Lalu Prasad Yadav.
- Lalu Prasad Yadav was the youngest member of the Parliament of his times. He was only 29 when he was elected to the Lower House in 1977.
- There was no looking back for Lalu after that. Lalu’s stance in Bihar politics was such that Muslims and Yadavs in Bihar became a sure shot vote bank for Lalu.
- He won the trust of Muslims who were once a vote bank for Congress but had lost their faith after the 1989 Bhagalpur riots. Lalu Yadav created a niche for himself in a span of 10 years.
- Rabri, with negligible education, could not read official files and had to depend on advisers for each of her official actions. Her inexperience in the field of politics invited criticisms, but the lady soon picked up the ropes of politics.
- On 1 June 1973, Lalu Prasad Yadav married Rabri Devi. The couple has seven daughters: Misha, Rohini, Bharti, Chanda, Hema, Rajlakshmi and Dhannu. Their two sons are Tej Pratap and Tajashwi.
- Lalu has the considerable amount of fan following in Bollywood. Director Mahesh Bhatt has even once said that Lalu deserves to be the next prime minister of India.
- A movie called Padmashree Laloo Prasad Yadav was released in 2004 which had Lalu made a guest appearance.
Corruption charges against Lalu Prasad Yadav
- Lalu Prasad Yadav was accused of involvement in the 1996 Fodder Scam where syphoning off of the huge amount of money (about Rs. 9.50 billion) from the Animal Husbandry Department was alleged. On 30 September 2013, he, along with 44 others, including politicians and IAS officers, was convicted by the CBI court. A sentence of 5 years of rigorous imprisonment and a fine of Rs. 25 lakh was given to him for his involvement in the scam. He was taken to the Birsa Munda Central Jail in Ranchi. As a consequence of this incident, he was disqualified as a Member of Parliament and not allowed to contest in elections for the next six years. On his appeal, the Supreme Court of India granted him bail on 13 December 2013 on one of the six cases registered against him on the Fodder Scam issue. Accordingly, he was released from jail on 16 December 2013.
- A disproportionate assets case was filed against Lalu Prasad Yadav and Rabri Devi in 1998.
- In 2004, Lalu Prasad Yadav accused veteran BJP leader and the then Leader of Opposition L.K. Advani of conspiring the death of Muhammad Ali Jinnah. He called Advani an “international absconder”.
- Lalu Prasad Yadav accused BJP leader Venkaiah Naidu of selling 55,000 tons of wheat in Andhra Pradesh among groups inducted for drought relief distribution.
- He faced criticism when he used Osama bin Laden’s look-alike for campaigning and wooing Muslim voters during the 2005 Bihar elections.