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Laloo Prasad Yadav|
(Date of Birth - June 11, 1947)
There is little doubt that India's former Railways Minister Laloo Prasad Yadav casts an unique figure in the hurly-burly of Indian politics.|
Laloo, as he is popularly known, hails from the impoverished and backward state of Bihar and is chief of the Rashtriya Janata Dal party.
Born in 1948 in Phulwaria in Gopalganj district of Bihar in a family of humble origins, Laloo displayed an early interest in politics through his involvement in elections to the Patna University students union. He was also involved with the student movement led by Jai Prakash Narayan in the 1970s.
A canny political operator, Laloo's path to power was catalyzed by the strategic alliance he forged between the poor Yadav caste and the Muslims.
Laloo was first elected to the Lok Sabha (Lower house of Indian Parliament) in 1977 and has since been elected three more times. The veteran politician has also been a member of the Bihar state legislature on and off.
Laloo's long innings in politics including many years as Chief Minister of Bihar has not made a significant dent in the lives of the poor in Bihar.
Social and economic justice for the poor in Bihar, as in most states of India, is still a mirage. "Swarg nahin diya, lekin swar to diya." (I did not give them heaven, but I did give them voice.) is an oft-quoted statement of Laloo in a reference to the status of the poorer sections of society in Bihar.
Although ridiculed and parodied by the media and the middle class for his rustic manner of speaking, Laloo has demonstrated his wily political skills over the last two decades.
Laloo parted with the Janata Dal party and formed the Rashtriya Janata Dal in 1997.
After corruption charges compelled him to step down as chief minister of Bihar, Laloo got his wife Rabri Devi, an illiterate woman, installed as chief minister of the state.
Laloo is married to Rabri Devi and has seven daughters and two sons.
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Laloo Prasad Yadav