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Laloo Prasad Yadav

Birthday
11 Jun 1947 (Age 69)
Biography
Lalu Prasad Yadav (Devanāgarī: लालू प्रसाद यादव) is an Indian politician from Bihar. He was Minister of Railways from 2004 to 2009 in the ruling United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government, and President of the Rashtriya Janata Dal political party. He is a Member of Parliament in the 15th Lok Sabha from the Saran constituency in Bihar.

He entered politics during his student days at Patna University, and he was elected a member of the Lok Sabha in 1977 as a Janata party candidate. At the age of 29 he was one of its youngest members of Parliament.

He is famous for his charismatic leadership and mass appeal. and has been criticized for caste-based politics and the corruption cases against him.

Yadav served as the Chief Minister of Bihar from 1990 till 1997, when he resigned following escalating corruption charges in the Fodder Scam. From 1997 to 2005, with brief interruptions, his wife Rabri Devi was Chief Minister. Her political opponents often accused her as having served as his "surrogate."

Early life and education
Lalu Prasad Yadav was born in Phulwaria, in the Gopalganj district of Bihar. His father's name was Kundan Rai and Mother's name was Marachhiya Devi. He is a lawyer by education. He holds Bachelor's degree in Law(LLB.) and Master in Political science from B. N. College, Patna, Patna University. He had turned down the Patna University's Honorary Doctarate in 2004 Lalu Prasad Yadav had his schooling, from 1st standard to 7th standard, at Bihar Military Police No-5 middle school.

Political career
Lalu Prasad Yadav entered politics as General Secretary of the Patna University Students Union in 1970. He led the student movement inspired by Jai Prakash Narayan, Raj Narain and Karpoori Thakur. The former Chief Minister of Bihar and then-President of Bihar State Janata Party, Satyendra Narayan Sinha supported him as a candidate for the Lok Sabha and campaigned for him. He was elected as a member of 9th Lok Sabha on a Janata Party ticket at the age 29, becoming one of the youngest members of the Indian Parliament at the time.

In a span of 10 years, Yadav became a formidable force in Bihar State Politics. During the Indian general elections in 1989 and state assembly elections, he successfully led the National Front coalition in Bihar. It was, therefore, no surprise that he was elected the Chief Minister leaving behind Ram Sundar Das, a former chief minister from the same party, when it came to power in the 1990 Assembly elections. The World Bank lauded his party for its work in the 1990s on the economic front.

A report was published by the BBC news in 1986 according to which the police unearthed a Rs 1950 crore (US$ 267 Million), Fodder Scam in Bihar, which allegedly involved Yadav and the State's leading bureaucrats and politicians, albeit the probe itself was ordered by him. Some people claim it to be an opposition's conspiracy to stop his unprecedented political growth. The fodder scam forced Yadav to resign from the office of Chief Minister and he brought his wife, Rabri Devi, as his successor.

Rashtriya Janata Dal
Yadav formed the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) in 1997, after breaking away from the Janata Dal. According to Limca Book of Records, he is the longest serving president of an Indian Political Party. He remained in power in Bihar for more than one and a half decades. In November 2005 elections, his party, the RJD could win just 54 seats, which put his party in third place, after the Janata Dal United(JDU) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Nitish Kumar led coalition, consisting of JD(U) and BJP, came to power.

Tenure as a Union Minister
Yadav was elected to the 14th Lok Sabha from Chhapra and Madhepura seats of Bihar. He was able to defeat the high profile BJP leader Rajiv Pratap Rudy from Chhapra and the JD(U) president Sharad Yadav from Madhepura. However in the 15th Lok Sabha elections Yadav will contest from Saran [disambiguation needed] and Patiliputra. At Saran, he will again run into Rajiv Pratap Rudy. He became the railway minister in the UPA Government. Later, he gave up the Madhepura seat.

Railways Minister
Yadav banned plastic cups to serve tea at railway stations and ordered that they be replaced by kulhads (earthen cups), to generate more employment in rural areas. Later, he also said that he had plans to introduce buttermilk and khādī. In June 2004, he announced that he would get on the railway himself to inspect its problems and went on to board the Patna railway station at midnight.

When he took over, the Indian Railways was a loss-making organization. In the 4 years under his leadership, made a cumulative total profit of Rs. 25,000 crore (US$ 5.2 billion).

He left passenger fares untouched and found several other profitable sources of revenue for the Railways. He also improved on his first year's performance by stating a profit of 14,000 crores with decreased freight and unchanged passenger fares in 2006. Then, in the 2007 budget, he increased the profit level to 20,000 crores with the introduction of cushion seats in all unreserved compartments.In 2008, profits were 25,000 crore (equals $ 6.25 billion @ $1~Rs.40)

Well known schools of management were interested in Yadav's leadership in managing the turnaround (with more or less the same IAS officers & the same workforce who worked under the previous ministers). He went to and addressed over a hundred students from Harvard, Wharton and others in Hindi. He has received invitations from 8 Ivy League schools for lectures. The turnaround of the Indian Railways is now being studied by the students of the Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad. Prof G. Raghuram, a faculty member, IIM-A, has already conducted a detailed study on the Railways turnaround.

In August 2008, CNN-IBN alleged that Yadav had misused his position as the Union Railway Minister to help his relatives acquire land. Earlier Railway ministers and his political opponents Mamata Banerjee & Nitish Kumar has raised doubt over Lalu's achievements

Lalu in popular culture
Many books have been written in praise of Yadav by local writers including Lalu Chalisa and Lalu Hala. Entertainers, in television and film industry, mimic Yadav for their profession. According to a media report, many local barbers and saloons are earning money by offering what they call the Lalu style hair cut. A barber of Hajipur was quoted saying, "The style is a craze among the youths and even policemen". Yadav has been recognised as a brand on his own amongst a few industries in rural Bihar.

A Patna-based company had launched "Lalu Khaini" (tobacco) in 2004, which was a hit. In 2005, Speedage Corp. introduced "Laluji" dolls that became popular with kids. In 2006, Lalu ka Khzana, a chocolate produced by New Delhi-based Chetak company, became very popular with kids in rural areas of north Bihar districts like Muzaffarpur, Sitamarhi and Madhubani. The wrapper of the chocolate packet depicted two different caricatures of Lalu — one as a politician and the other as a magician. More than 100,000 packets were reportedly sold.

A cheap cosmetic pack branded as Lalu Chale Sasural ("Lalu goes to in-laws house") had become extremely popular among rural Bihari girls, especially in the areas such as Vaishali, Muzaffarpur, Darbhanga and Samastipur. Each packet, priced at Rs. 23 (rouglhy half a dollar), contains items of daily use like face powder, cream, earrings, sticker, and a necklace

In June 2006, Prakash Agro Industries in Bihar started selling cattle fodder under the brand name Lalu Pashu Aahar. It was reported that the outcome of this branding strategy had surpassed the company's expectations and they were facing problems in meeting the huge demand for their fodder

Yadav has a sizable fan following in Bollywood, which includes actors Sunil Shetty and Raza Murad and directors Mahesh Manjrekar and Mahesh Bhatt to name a few. Indian actor turned politician Shatrughan Sinha, who is a political opponent of Yadav, once said, " Had Yadav not been a politician he could have been an actor". Mahesh Bhatt has gone to the extent of saying that Yadav deserves to become Prime Minister of India. A Bollywood movie titled Padamshree Laloo Prasad Yadav was released in 2004. Though his name appeared in the title, the movie was not about him, but had characters named Padmashreee, Laloo, Prasad and Yadav.

These incidences as viewed by some people as an attempt by the mainstream media to make deliberate fun of Yadav's accent.Though the movie was not a hit, it was made n good comedy of some of the legecy

Corruption allegations
Yadav has been charged with corruption cases, the most infamous being the "Fodder Scam". In the Fodder Scam, about Rs. 950 crore (US$ 211.85 million) was siphoned off from the animal husbandry department. Laloo Yadav has been an accused in many of the 63 odd cases filed.He has been remaned to custody on multiple occasions because of the number of cases. Over 64 people have been convicted in the case.. "Lalu accused in six fodder scam cases". Outlook. April 25, 2005. http://www.outlookindia.com/pti_news.asp?id=294484. Retrieved 2006-05-29.

Schemes during his tenure
The charwaha vidyalaya scheme was launched by Chief Minister Laloo Prasad Yadav in December, 1991, with much fanfare. The project was even appreciated by UNICEF and was quickly adopted by Central schemes like TRYSEM, Indira Awas Yojana, IRDP-RLGEP and ICDS. It aimed to impart basic education to children of poor peasants who supplemented their parents' meagre income by cattle-herding, "Earn while you learn" was the attraction. The concept envisaged that children bring their herd and learn while the animals grazed in the fields attach-ed to the schools. The mid-day meal scheme has succeeded in bringing poor children to school. But the scheme has become an end in itself and there are no signs of these children learning anything in the classroom.

Accusations against the BJP
On August 5, 2004, Yadav claimed that L.K.Advani, senior BJP leader and Leader of the Opposition was an accused in a conspiracy to kill Muhammad Ali Jinnah and described him as an 'international absconder'. On September 14, 2004 Lalu asked L.K.Advani to come clean on ‘his involvement' in the alleged conspiracy to assassinate the founder of Pakistan, Mohammed Ali Jinnah

On September 28, 2004,Lalu alleged Mr. Venkaiah Naidu,the then Union Rural Minister, of having sold 55,000 tonnes of wheat in the name of drought relief distribution in AP. "A CBI probe will be initiated to find the truth" he said.
[edit] Perceived institutional bias against Lalu

Although he has maintained a good relationship with the media, at times he has accused the media of being unfair, and has even gone so far as to threaten to sue certain media outlets for defamation. AlthoughThe Media bias against him has been recognised by certain sections of press, He and his supporters have also claimed that the Election Commission of India have shown a bias against him on many occasions, the most recent being the last Bihar State Assembly Election

Personal life
Yadav married Rabri Devi on June 1, 1973. They have two sons and seven daughters. According to him, his large family is a protest against Indira Gandhi's forced vasectomy and castration campaign during the Indian Emergency of 1975-77.

Lalu's eldest daughter is Misa Bharati, named for the infamous Maintenance of Internal Security Act under which freedom of the press was curtailed and countless Indians jailed as political prisoners, including her father who was in prison at the time of her birth.
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