Lalu Prasad Yadav
Lalu Prasad Yadav
|Minister of Railways|
24 May 2004 – 23 May 2009
|Prime Minister||Manmohan Singh|
|Preceded by||Nitish Kumar|
|Succeeded by||Mamata Banerjee|
|20th Chief Minister of Bihar|
4 April 1995 – 25 July 1997
|Preceded by||President's rule|
|Succeeded by||Rabri Devi|
10 March 1990 – 28 March 1995
|Preceded by||Jagannath Mishra|
|Succeeded by||President's rule|
|Member of the Indian Parliament|
24 May 2004 – 22 May 2009
|Preceded by||Rajiv Pratap Rudy|
|Succeeded by||Constituency delimitated|
2 December 1989 – 13 March 1991
|Preceded by||Rambahadur Singh|
|Succeeded by||Lal Babu Rai|
23 March 1977 – 22 August 1979
|Preceded by||Ramshekhar Prasad Singh|
|Succeeded by||Staya Deo Singh|
|Born||11 June 1948|
Gopalganj, Bihar, India
|Political party||Rashtriya Janata Dal|
|Relations||Tejashwi Yadav (Son)|
Tej Pratap Yadav (Son)
Misa Bharti (Daughter)
Tej Pratap Singh Yadav (Son)
|Children||9, including Tejashwi Yadav|
|Parents||Kundan Ray (father)|
Marachhiya Devi (mother)
|Alma mater||Finance, Patna University|
Lalu Prasad Yadav (born 11 June 1948) is an Indian politician from the state of Bihar. He is the president of the Rashtriya Janata Dal, former chief minister of Bihar, former UPA minister of railways, and former member of Parliament of the 15th Lok Sabha.
He entered politics at Patna University as a student leader and was elected as then youngest member of the Lok Sabha in 1977 as a Janata Party candidate at the age of 29. He became the chief minister of Bihar in 1990 but had to resign in 1997 following escalating corruption charges relating to the Fodder Scam. From 1997 to 2005 his wife Rabri Devi ruled as the Chief Minister of the state. His party came to power in 2015 Bihar Legislative Assembly election in partnership with Nitish Kumar of JD(U), but Nitish Kumar dumped Lalu's party from the power in July 2017 after the Enforcement Directorate and CBI lodged several criminal cases against Lalu, his wife Rabri, his son and former deputy chief minister, Tejashwi Yadav, in another disproportionate assets and railway tender bribery scam during Lalu's stint as the Railway Minister.
On 3 October 2013, he was sentenced to five years of rigorous imprisonment and ₹25 lakh (US$36,000) fine for his role in the first Fodder Scam by the CBI court, then again for 3.5 years in a second fodder scam case on the same day, 23 December 2017 when his member of parliament daughter Misa Bharti was also officially charged by Enforcement Directorate in disproportionate assets, while 3 more fodder scam cases against him are also pending in the court. Yadav was found guilty in third fodder scam case in January, 2018. In March, 2018, the Special CBI Court convicted him in the fourth fodder scam case which is related to swindling of Rs. 3.13 crore from the Dumka treasury. In the Dumka Treasury case a total of Rs 60 lakh fine imposed (Rs 30 lakh under PC act and Rs 30 lakh under IPC) and 14 years' imprisonment (7 years under IPC and 7 years under Prevention of Corruption Act) was sentenced on Lalu Prasad Yadav in to run consecutively.
- 1 Early and personal life
- 2 Political career
- 2.1 Positions held
- 2.2 1970–1990: Student politics
- 2.3 1990–1997: Lalu and wife as chief ministers of Bihar
- 2.4 1998–2002: Formation of RJD and out of power
- 2.5 2002–2005: RJD and Rabri rule in Bihar
- 2.6 2004–2009: Railway Minister
- 2.7 2005–2010: RJD out of power in Bihar
- 2.8 2009–2014: Out of power in center and Bihar
- 2.9 2015–current: Conviction in 2 fodder scam cases
- 3 Corruption, conviction and criticism
- 3.1 Corruption cases
- 3.1.1 1996 Fodder Scam – 1st case of INR 33.61 crore scammed from Chaibasa treasury: conviction in 2013
- 3.1.2 1996 Fodder Scam – 2nd case of INR89.27 lakh scammed from Deoghar treasury: conviction in 2017
- 3.1.3 1996 Fodder Scam – 3rd case of INR35.62 crore scammed from Chaibasa treasury: conviction in 2018
- 3.1.4 1996 Fodder Scam – 4th case of INR 3.97 crore scammed from Dumka treasury: conviction in 2018
- 3.1.5 1996 Fodder Scam – 5th case of INR184 crore scammed from Doranda treasury: pending in court
- 3.1.6 2005 Indian Railway tender scam: Lalu family booked by CBI
- 3.1.7 2017 Delight Properties 45 crore benami disproportionate assets and tax evasion cases: Lalu family booked by ED
- 3.1.8 2017 AB Exports 40 crore benami disproportionate assets and tax evasion cases: Lalu family booked by ED
- 3.1.9 2017 Patna zoo soil scam
- 3.2 Criticism
- 3.1 Corruption cases
- 4 See also
- 5 References
- 6 External links
Early and personal life
Lalu, second of his parents' six sons, was born in Phulwaria in Bihar to Kundan Ray and Marachhiya Devi, and attended a local middle school before moving to Patna with his elder brother. After completing Bachelor of Laws and a Master in Political Science from B. N. College of Patna University, he worked as clerk in Bihar Veterinary College at Patna where his elder brother was also a peon. He turned down Patna University's Honorary Doctorate in 2004.
"The Making of Laloo Yadav, The Unmaking of Bihar", updated and reprinted under the title "Subaltern Sahib: Bihar and the Making of Laloo Yadav", is a book based on Lalu's life by Sankarshan Thakur.
|Tej Pratap Yadav||Elder son||Married Aishwarya, grand-daughter of Bihar's ex-CM Daroga Prasad Rai||ex Health Minister of Bihar|
|Tejashwi Yadav||Younger son||ex-cricketer, ex Deputy Chief Minister of Bihar|
|Dr. Misa Bharti||1st daughter (eldest)||Married a software engineer Shailesh Kumar in 1999||Misa was nominated as Rajya Sabha MP by RJD in 2016|
|Rohini Acharya||2nd daughter||Married to Rao Samaresh Singh in May 2002||Samaresh is a US-based commerce graduate from SRCC Delhi, son of Rao Ranvijay Singh of Arwal|
|Chanda Singh||3rd daughter||Married an Indian Airlines pilot Vikram Singh in 2006|
|Ragini Yadav||4th daughter||Married to Rahul Yadav, son of Jitendra Yadav in 2012||Jitendra is SP's MLC, now a INC member and resident of Sarfabad village in Noida |
|Hema Yadav||5th daughter||Married to Vineet Yadav, who is from a political family|
|Anushka Rao||6th daughter||Married to Chiranjeev Rao, son of Capt. Ajay Singh Yadav of the INC||Ajay is ex Power Minister of Haryana who had legal issues related to a land scam in Solan|
|Rajlaxmi Singh||7th daughter (youngest)||Married to Tej Pratap Singh Yadav in 2015||SP's ex-Lok Sabha MP Tej Pratap Singh Yadav is the grand-nephew of Mulayam Singh Yadav|
- 1977: Elected to the 6th Lok Sabha at the age of 29.
- 1980–1989: Member of the Bihar Legislative Assembly (two terms).
- 1989: A Leader of Opposition of Bihar Legislative Assembly, Chairman of Pustakalaya Committee, Convenor of Committee on Public Undertakings. Re-elected to the 9th Lok Sabha (2nd term).
- 1990–1995: Member of the Bihar Legislative Council.
- 1990–1997: Chief Minister of Bihar
- 1995–1998: Member of the Bihar Legislative Assembly.
- 1996: Lalu implicated in Fodder Scam
- 1997: Splits from Janata Dal to form Rashtriya Janata Dal.
- 1998: Re-elected to 12th Lok Sabha (3rd term).
- 1998–1999: Member of General Purposes Committee, Committee on Home Affairs and its Sub Committee on Swatantrata Sainik Samman Pension Scheme, Consultative Committee of Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.
- 2004: Re-elected to the 14th Lok Sabha (4th term). Appointed Cabinet Minister in the Ministry of Railways in UPA govt. Lalu, wife Rabri Devi, son Tejashwi Yadav and daughter Misa Bharti booked for railway tender bribery scam, disproportionate illegal property and income tax evasion cases in 2017.
- 2009: Re-elected to the 15th Lok Sabha (5th term) and disqualified in 2013 subsequent to his conviction in the first fodder scam case.
1970–1990: Student politics
In 1970, Lalu entered in student politics as the general secretary of the Patna University Students' Union (PUSU), became its president in 1973, joined Jai Prakash Narayan' Bihar Movement in 1974 where he became sufficiently close to Janata Party (JP) leaders to became the Janata alliance's winning candidate in the 1977 Lok Sabha election from Chapra at the age of 29. In 1979, the Janata Party government fell due to in-fighting.The parliament was dissolved with new polls held in 1980. Lalu quit Janata party to join the splinter group, Janata Party-S led by Raj Narain, only to lose the re-election in 1980.He managed to win Bihar Legislative Assembly election later in 1980, and again in 1985 to become leader of opposition in Bihar assembly in 1989.Later in 1989, he was also elected for Lok Sabha under V. P. Singh government.By 1990, he positioned himself as the leader of Yadav (11.7% of the Bihar's) and lower castes. Muslims, who had traditionally served as Congress (I) vote bank, shifted their loyalty to Prasad after the 1989 Bhagalpur violence. He became popular among the Muslim and Yadav voters of Bihar.
1990–1997: Lalu and wife as chief ministers of Bihar
In 1990, Janata Dal 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 Prasad as CM candidate. He was victorious in an internal poll of Janata Dal MLA's and became the chief minister. On 23 September 1990, Prasad arrested L. K. Advani at Samastipur during the latter's Ram 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, Prasad 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. Policy of opposition to English was considered an anti-elite policy since both the Yadav leaders represented the same social constituents The Backward castes, Dalits 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.
1998–2002: Formation of RJD and out of power
In 1997, due to allegation related to Fodder Scam, a leadership revolt surfaced in Janata Dal, consequently Lalu broke away from Janata Dal and formed a new political party Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD). In 1998 general for 12th Lok Sabha Lalu won from Madhepura, but lost in 1999 general election to Sharad Yadav. In 2000 Bihar Legislative Assembly election he won and remained in opposition.
2002–2005: RJD and Rabri rule in Bihar
In 2002, Lalu was elected in Rajya Sabha where he stayed till 2004. In 2002, RJD formed the government with Rabri Devi as the CM. Except for brief President rule and 8 days term of Nitish Kumar, RJD remained in power in Bihar till 2005.
2004–2009: Railway Minister
In 2004, Yadav contested general election from Chapra and Madhepura against Rajiv Pratap Rudy and Sharad Yadav respectively and won from both the seats. In total, RJD won 21 seats and it allied with Indian National Congress becoming second-largest member of UPA I after Congress. Yadav became the railway minister in the 2004 UPA Government. Later, he gave up the Madhepura seat.
As railway minister, Yadav left passenger fares untouched and focused on other sources of revenue for the railways. He banned plastic cups from being used to serve tea at railway stations and replaced those with kulhars (earthen cups), in order 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 organisation. In the four years under his leadership, it showed a cumulative total profit of Rs.250 billion (US$5.2 billion). According to CAG, it was the new practice of issuing a "statement of cash and investible surplus" that helped Lalu project a rosy picture. In 2008, the profits shown were ₹25,000 crore (US$3.6 billion). Schools of management became interested in Yadav's leadership in managing the turnaround (with more or less the same IAS officers and the same workforce who worked under the previous ministers). The alleged turnaround was introduced as a case study by the prestigious Indian Institute of Management. Yadav also received invitations from eight Ivy League schools for lectures, and addressed over a hundred students from Harvard, Wharton and others in Hindi.
In 2009, Yadav's successor Mamata Banerjee and the opposition parties alleged that the so-called turnaround of the Railways during his tenure was merely a result of presenting financial statements differently. In 2011, a report by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) endorsed this view. CAG found that the "surplus" shown on the financial statements during Yadav's tenure covered "cash and investible surplus", which were not included in the "net surplus" figures released by the Railways in the earlier years. The "cash surplus" included the money available for paying dividend, contribution to the Depreciation Reserve Fund used for renewal or replacement of existing assets, and other funds for investment. The "investible surplus" included the money allocated for capital expenditure. The report concluded that the performance of the Railways actually declined marginally during the last few years of Lalu's tenure. Earlier in August 2008, CNN-IBN had also alleged that Yadav had misused his position as the Union Railway Minister to help his relatives acquire land.
2005–2010: RJD out of power in Bihar
In November 2005 state elections RJD won 54 seats, less than both Janata Dal United (JDU) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Nitish Kumar led coalition, consisting of JD(U) and BJP, came to power. In the 2010 elections, the RJD tally was reduced to just 22 seats whereas the ruling alliance claimed a record 206 out of the 243 Assembly seats.
2009–2014: Out of power in center and Bihar
In 2009 general election RJD won 4 seats and provided outside support to Manmohan Singh government. In May 2012, Lalu Prasad Yadav envisaged Hamid Ansari, previous vice-president, as a presidential candidate. In May 2013, Lalu Yadav tried to rejuvenate the party and fuel the party workers in his Parivartan Rally. After the conviction in Fodder Scam on 3 October 2013, Yadav was disqualified from the membership of Lok Sabha.
In 2014 general election, Lalu Yadav's RJD again won 4 seats. Lalu Yadav has been working on a merger of six parties to form a Janata Parivar.
2015–current: Conviction in 2 fodder scam cases
In the 2015 Bihar Legislative Assembly election, Lalu Yadav's RJD became the largest party with a total of 81 seats. He along with his partner Nitish Kumar of JD(U) had the absolute majority to form a government in Bihar. This was cited as a major comeback for the RJD and for Lalu Yadav on the political stage of Bihar after a gap of 10 years. But that suffocating alliance did not last long as Nitish Kumar dumped and ousted Lalu's party from the power and alliance in July 2017 after the Enforcement Directorate and Central Bureau of Investigation lodged several criminal cases against Lalu's son and Deputy Chief Minister, Tejashwi Yadav.
Corruption, conviction and criticism
Lalu has been convicted and jailed in 2 scams, he and his family, including wife Rabri Devi, sons Tejashwi Yadav and Tej Pratap Yadav, and daughter Misa Bharti have has been charged in several other corruption cases (c. Jan 2018).
1996 Fodder Scam – 1st case of INR 33.61 crore scammed from Chaibasa treasury: conviction in 2013
Fodder scam has several cases, in which Lalu is an accused in 6 cases, he has been convicted in 2 cases and 3 more cases against him are still pending in the court (c. Jan 2018).
In the 1st case, Lalu was accused in 1996 and later convicted in "Fodder Scam" cases in which about Rs.4.50 billion (US$111.85 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 the 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.
Lalu Prasad Yadav, along with 44 other accused, was convicted on 30 September 2013, by Central Bureau of Investigation court at Ranchi, after being found guilty in fraudulent withdrawal of Rs. 37 crores (INR370 million) from Chaibasa treasury. Several other politicians, IAS officers were also convicted in the case. Immediately after the verdict was pronounced, lalu 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 given a jail sentence of five years and a fine of 25 lakh rupees.
He was released on bail 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.
1998 Lalu's disproportionate assets case
In 1998, a disproportionate assets case arising out of fodder scam was registered against Yadav and Rabri Devi. In April 2000, both were made co-accused 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.
1996 Fodder Scam – 2nd case of INR89.27 lakh scammed from Deoghar treasury: conviction in 2017
Lalu was convicted and jailed in 2nd Fodder Scam case of INR8.927 million on the same day 23 December 2017 when his member of parliament daughter Misa Bharti was also officially charged by Enforcement Directorate in disproportionate assets. while 4 more fodder scam cases against him are also pending in the court. Lalu was convicted 23 December 2017 and sentenced on 6 January 2018 to 3½ years' imprisonment and INR1,000,000 fine under the under the Prevention of Corruption Act and the Sections 120B (criminal conspiracy), section 420 (cheating and dishonestly), section 467 (forgery), section 471 (forged record) and section 477A (falsification) of the Indian Penal Code and for the fraudulent withdrawal of INR8,900,000 from the Deoghar district treasury between 1990 and 1994
1996 Fodder Scam – 3rd case of INR35.62 crore scammed from Chaibasa treasury: conviction in 2018
1996 Fodder Scam – 4th case of INR 3.97 crore scammed from Dumka treasury: conviction in 2018
Lalu Prasad was convicted by the special CBI court in the fourth fodder scam case relating to alleged withdrawal of Rs 3.13 crore from the Dumka district treasury over two decades ago. CBI Judge awarded him two separate sentences of seven years each under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and the Prevention of Corruption Acts.
1996 Fodder Scam – 5th case of INR184 crore scammed from Doranda treasury: pending in court
2005 Indian Railway tender scam: Lalu family booked by CBI
2005 Indian Railway tender scam, investigated by the CBI, is the bribery and corruption case where Lalu Prasad Yadav and his family are charged for illegally receiving prime property from the bidder as a bribe for corruptly awarding the Railway tender during Lalu's tenure as Railway Minister. Transfer of these properties as bribe to Lalu and his children were disguised using the shell companies; for example, wife Rabri Devi and three children, Misa Bharti, Tejashwi Yadav and Tej Pratap Yadav, received Saguna Mor Mall property worth INR 45 crore through a shell company named Delight Marketing (renamed as Lara properties), and another shell company AB Exports was used to transfer properties worth INR 40 crore for a price of INR 4 lakh to Lalu's other three children Tejashwi Yadav, Ragini and Chanda. This case spawned several other related but independent cases, such as disproportionate assets case as well as tax avoidance case by ED. Under the Benami Transactions Prohibition Act recipient of such benami properties can be imprisoned for up to 7 years and fined up to 25% fair market value, and convicted politicians are barred from contesting elections or holding elected position for six years.
2017 Delight Properties 45 crore benami disproportionate assets and tax evasion cases: Lalu family booked by ED
Investigated by Enforcement Directorate (ED), against Lalu, his wife Rabri Devi, son Tejashwi Yadav, daughter Misa Bharti and others, arose from the alleged illegal proceeds of the "2005 Indian Railway tender scam". The I-T department issued summons for 12 June 2017 to MP Misa Bharti, over benami land deals worth Rs. 10 billion. Misa was officially charged by ED in disproportionate assets case on the same day her father was convicted again in the second fodder scam. After CBI lodged a FIR on 5 July 2017, ED also filed the Case Information Report (ECIR) on 27 July 2017 against Lalu, his wife Rabri, their younger son Tejashwi Prasad Yadav and others in the railways tender corruption and ill-gotten property scam that happened during Lalu's tenure as the Railway Minister. Taking action against this scam, ED of Income Tax Department on 12 September 2017 attached more than 12 properties in Patna and Delhi including the plot for the mall in Patna, a farm house in Delhi and up-market land in Palam Vihar in Delhi. This includes the transfer of INR450 million (45 crore) Seguna mor benami property transferred to Lalu's wife Rabri Devi and children Tejashwi Yadav and Tej Pratap Yadav by using a shell company named Delight Properties, which was later renamed as Lara Properties. (Updated: 7 Jan 2018)
2017 AB Exports 40 crore benami disproportionate assets and tax evasion cases: Lalu family booked by ED
AB Exports was a shell company used to transfer, as a bribe for the railway tender scam, INR400 million (40 crore) benami property for a mere price of INR400,000 to Lalu's 3 children Tejashwi Yadav, Ragini Yadav and Chanda Singh. ED has attached this property and booked the 3 accused children of Lalu. (Updated: 7 Jan 2018)
2017 Patna zoo soil scam
2017 Patna zoo soil scam is a case against Lalu Prasad Yadav and his sons Tej Pratap Yadav and Tejaswi Yadav for the "gross irregularities" of selling soil from the construction of Tej Pratap's Saguna Mor mall basement. The bogus beautification scheme was for Rs 90 lakh to Patna zoo without inviting any tenders when Tej Pratap was the minister of environment and forest in Bihar, a department that controls the zoo. The scam came to the light in April 2017, a public interest litigation (PIL) was filed in Patna High Court in October 2017, court ordered the Bihar government to furnish the details of investigation, following which the case was handed over to Bihar Vigilance Investigation Bureau (VIB) department for the investigation under the Pollution Control Board Act, the Environment Protection Act and Wildlife Protection Act (1972) (update: 6 Jan 2018).
Negative image of corrupt, nepotistic and dynastic politician
Lalu Prasad Yadav is one of the first noted politicians to lose parliamentary seat on being arrested in fodder scam as per Supreme Court decision banning convicted legislators to hold their posts. Despite several ongoing corruption cases against him, he and his wife Rabri Devi ruled Bihar state for 15 years, a period during which every economic and social rankings of the state went to lowest level when compared to other states of India. During his tenure as Chief Minister, Bihar's law and order was at lowest, kidnapping was on rise and private armies mushroomed. He was criticised in 2002 as his supporters lifted cars, furniture from showrooms in Patna to be used in wedding of his daughter.
Alleged voter pandering
While campaigning for Bihar elections in 2005, both Lalu Prasad Yadav and Ram Vilas Paswan used a Muslim cleric in the traditional Islamic dress to woo Muslim voters. The cleric would accompany them in their helicopter to various election meetings, share the stage with them and make speeches that attacked the United States for its alleged anti-Muslim activities. Pramod Mahajan, senior leader of the Bharatiya Janata Party, had criticised both leaders for this by comparing the cleric with Osama bin Laden and blaming that they were "glorifying the name of a man who is recognised as the most wanted terrorist in the world."
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