Lalu Prasad Yadav, born 11 June 1948 is convicted politician from Bihar, India. He was the Minister of Railways from 2004 to 2009 in the ruling United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government, Chief Minister of Bihar from 1990 to 1997 and is the President of the Rashtriya Janata Dal political party. He was a Member of Parliament of 15th Lok Sabha from the Saran constituency in Bihar, but disqualified as MP owing to conviction for his involvement in the 1996 fodder scam.
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.Yadav became Chief Minister of Bihar in 1990 but resigned in 1997 following escalating corruption charges relating to the Fodder Scam. From 1997 to 2005, with brief interruptions, his wife Rabri Devi was the Chief Minister. Her political opponents often accused her as having served as his "surrogate." His tenure as Chief Minister of the state has been criticized for lawlessness and has been termed as the Jungle Raj.
He is known as a crowdpuller, shrewd and colourful politician but has been criticized for promoting and encouraging caste-based politics and there are several corruption cases against him. On October 3, 2013, he was awarded a sentence of five years of rigorous imprisonment and INR25 lakh (US$40,000) fine for his role in the Fodder Scam.
Yadav was born in Phulwaria, Bihar. His father's name is Kundan Rai and mother's name Marachhiya Devi.He is the 2nd of his parent's six sons. He attended a local middle school before moving to Patna with his elder brother. He studied Bachelor of Laws and a Master in Political Science from B. N. College, Patna University. After graduation, he got a job as clerk in Bihar Veterinary College, Patna where his elder brother also worked as a peon.He turned down Patna University's Honorary Doctorate in 2004.
Yadav entered in student politics as General Secretary of the Patna University Students' Union (PUSU) in 1970 and became its president in 1973. In 1974, he joined Bihar Movement, a student movement led by Jai Prakash Narayan (JP) against rising prices, corruption and unemployment. PUSU formed Bihar Chhatra Sangharsh Samiti to spearhead the agitation with Lalu Prasad Yadav as its president.During the movement Yadav came close to JP and was nominated as Janata Party candidate during 1977 Lok Sabha election from Chapra. Janata Party formed the first non-Congress government in the history of the Republic of India and at the age of 29, Yadav became one of the youngest members of the Indian Parliament at that time.Due to continuous in-fighting and ideological differences Janta Party government fell and parliament was dissolved leading to a re-election in 1980. Yadav lost the re-election in 1980. However he successfully contested Bihar state election in 1980 and became a member of Bihar Legislative Assembly. During the period, Yadav rose in hierarchy and was considered as one of the second-rung leaders. He was re-elected for Bihar assembly in 1985. After the death of ex-Chief Minister Karpuri Thakur, Yadav became the leader of opposition Bihar assembly in 1989. Same year, he was also elected for Lok Sabha under V. P. Singh government. By 1990, Yadav who represented single largest castes of Yadav with 11.7% of the state population, established himself as leader of lower castes.Muslims in Bihar on the other hand had traditionally served as a Congress (I) vote bank, but after the 1989 Bhagalpur violence, they shifted their loyalty to Yadav. In a span of 10 years, Yadav became a formidable force in Bihar State politics, known for his popularity among the Muslim and Yadav voters.
In 1990, Janta party came to power in Bihar. PM V. P. Singh wanted former Chief Minister Ram Sundar Das to lead the government.and Chandra Shekhar backed Raghunath Jha. To break deadlock deputy PM Devi Lal nominated Yadav as CM candidate. Yadav was victorious in an internal poll of Janta Party MLS's and became the Chief Minister. On 23 September 1990, Yadav arrested L K Advani at Samastipur during later's rath yatra to Ayodhya and presented himself as a secular leader. The World Bank lauded his party for its work in the 1990s on the economic front. In 1993, Yadav adopted a pro-English policy and pushed for the re-introduction of English as a language in school curriculum, contrary to the angrezi hatao (banish English) policy of then Uttar Pradesh CM Mulayam Singh Yadav, another Yadav and caste based politician. Policy of opposition to English was considered an anti-elite policy since both the Yadav leaders represented Dalit and minority communities.With the help of Yadav-Muslim votes, Lalu continued to be Bihar CM.In the Fodder Scam, Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) issued an arrest warrant for Yadav, and he had to resign from CM's post. Subsequently he installed his wife Rabri Devi as Bihar CM.
In 1996, Yadav was accused in the "Fodder Scam" in which about Rs.9.50 billion (US $211.85 million) were siphoned off from the animal husbandry department, albeit the probe itself was ordered by him. Several reports of alleged embezzlement of money withdrawn from animal husbandry department
were tabled from 1990-95. In January 1996, a raid conducted on Chaibasa treasury indicated the siphoning off of funds by non-existent companies. Yadav then ordered an inquiry to probe the alleged irregularities. However after a public interest litigation, the Bihar High Court in March 1996 ordered the case to be handed over to the CBI. In June 1997, CBI filed the charge sheet in the case and made Yadav an accused. The fodder scam forced Yadav to resign from the office of Chief Minister and he appointed his wife, Rabri Devi, his successor as the state's Chief Minister. In 2001, Supreme Court transferred the scam cases to newly formed Jharkhand and trial began in a special court in Ranchi in 2002. In August 2013, Yadav tried to get the trial court judge transferred, but his plea was rejected by Supreme Court of India. Yadav has been an accused in many of the 53-odd cases filed. He has been remanded to custody on multiple occasions because of the number of cases. Over 64 people were convicted in the case. Yadav was first sent to "Judicial remand" (Bihar Military Police guest house, Patna) on 30 July 1997, for 134 days. On 28 October 1998, he was again sent to the same guest house for 73 days. When the Supreme Court of India took exception to his guest house stay, he had also moved to the Beur jail in Patna. On 26 November 2001, Yadav was again remanded, in a case related to the fodder scam. Yadav accused the NDA of creating a conspiracy against him. On 1 October 2004, the Supreme Court of India served a notice to Yadav and his wife, Rabri Devi, on the fodder scam. This was in response to a petition which alleged that they have been interfering with the investigation.
Laloo Prasad Yadav, along with 44 other accused, was convicted on 30 September 2013, by Central Bureau of Investigation court at Ranchi, after found
guilty in fraudulent withdrawal of Rs.37 crores from Chaibasa treasury.Several other politicians, IAS officers were also convicted in the case.Immediately after the verdict was pronounced, Laloo Prasad Yadav was arrested and taken to Birsa Munda Central Jail, located at Ranchi. Consequent upon his conviction, Mr. Yadav stands disqualified as MP and he will not be eligible to contest public election for next six years.He has been awarded a jail sentence of five years and a fine of 25 lakh rupees
He was released from Birsa Munda Central Jail, after he completed the bail formalities in a Special CBI court, two-and-a-half months after he was convicted in a fodder scam case.
In 1998, a disproportionate assets case was registered against Yadav and Rabri Devi. In April 2000, both were made co-assused in the charge-sheet and surrendered. While Rabri Devi got bail due to being CM of Bihar, Yadav was remanded for 11 days and sent to the Beur Jail.Due to the proceedings in the fodder scam, Yadav was remanded for a day in Beur jail on 28 November 2000. CBI failed to prove them guilty and they were acquitted by a CBI court in 2006. Bihar government wanted to appeal against the acquittal, but Supreme court in 2010 ruled that state government can not challenge such rulings.
His most notable achievement has been the financial turnaround of the Indian Railways. When Lalu took over the mantle of the Railway Minister, the Indian Railways was in bankruptcy and experts had predicted that its losses would only mount in the coming years. It is to the credit of Lalu Prasad that he was successful in leading the Indian Railways from being mired in losses to posting a surplus of nearly Rs 20,000 crores. This has become the subject of study at many management institutes in India and abroad, with Lalu being invited to give lectures. Lalu has been immensely popular with the masses, with many books written about him and songs being composed in his honour. Occasionally, Lalu-brand dolls, tobacco, chocolate, cosmetics have hit the markets.