Lalu Prasad Yadav: Political Career, Corruption, Conviction And Criticism

Lalu Prasad (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. 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 Prasad's party from power in July 2017.

Lalu Prasad Yadav Biography


Key Description:

Minister of Railways: 24 May 2004 – 23 May 2009

Prime Minister: Manmohan Singh

Preceded By: Nitish Kumar

Succeeded By: Mamata Banerjee

Constituency: Saran

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 for Chhapra: 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

Personal Details:

Born: 11 June 1948 (age 72), Phulwariya , Gopalganj, Bihar, India

Political Party: Rashtriya Janata Dal

Spouse(s): Rabri Devi

Relations: Tej Pratap Singh Yadav (Son in law)

Children: 9, including Tejashwi Yadav, Tej Pratap Yadav, Misa Bharti
Parents Kundan Ray (father)

Mother: Marachhiya Devi

Education: Finance, Patna University

Website: Lalu

Social Network: Facebook, Twitter


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 PHD 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.

Yadav married Rabri Devi on 1 June 1973, in an arranged marriage, and they went on to have two sons and seven daughters.

Name Relationship Other relations Comments
Tej Pratap Yadav Elder son Married Aishwarya Ray, granddaughter 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 an 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


Political Career

Positions Held

  • 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.
  • 2020: RJD declares Lalu as mahagathbandhan coordinator for Assembly polls.
  • 1970–1990: Student politics


Populist Policies And Consolidation of Lower Castes

According to Seyed Hossein Zarhani, though Laloo Prasad became a hate figure among Forward Castes, he drew huge support from backward castes and Dalits. He was criticized for neglecting development but a study conducted during his reign among downtrodden Musahars revealed that though the construction of houses for them hasn't been concluded at required pace, still they will choose Laloo as he returned them their "ijjat"(honour) and for the first time they are allowed to vote.A number of populist policies which directly impacted his backward caste supporters were launched during his tenure. Some of these being; establishment of "Charvaha schools", where children of poor could get skilled; abolishment of cess on toddy and more importantly the negligence of rules related to reservation for backward castes were made cognizable offence. Laloo mobilized backwards through his identity politics.According to his conception, Forward Castes were elite in the outlook and thus he portrayed himself as, "Messiah of backwards" by ensuring that his way of living remain identical to his supporters who were mostly poor.He even continued to reside in his quarter of one room after getting elected as Chief Minister, though later he moved to official residence of the CM for administrative convenience.

Another significant event during his regime was the recruitment of backward castes and communities to government services in large numbers.The Government's white paper claimed to have significant number of vacancies in health sector and similar manpower crunch existed across various sectors.The rules of recruitment were changed drastically in order to benefit backward castes who supported Laloo. The frequent transfer of existing officers, who were at the higher echelon of bureaucracy was also an important feature of Laloo and Rabri Devi regime.These developments led to collapse of administration and entire system.Yadav however continued to rule Bihar due to massive support from backward castes as well as his emphasis on "honour" which he considered more important than the development.Thus according to Zarhani, for the lower caste he was a charismatic leader who was capable to become the voice of those who were silent for long.

Another form of mobilization of his Dalit supporters by Laloo Yadav was popularising all those folk heroes of lower castes, who were said to have vanquished the upper caste adversaries.One such example is of a popular Dalit saint who was revered as he not only ran away with an upper caste girl but also suppressed all her kins. Praising him could enrage Bhumihar caste in some parts of Bihar.There is a grand celebration every year at a particular place near Patna and Yadav participates in this fair with pomp and show.His energetic participation in this show makes it a rallying point for Dalits, who saw it as their victory and the harassment of upper castes.

According to Kalyani Shankar, Lalu created a feeling amongst the oppressed that they are real rulers of state under him.He continuously lambasted the oppressors on the behalf of the oppressed and led to their emergence as the pivot of political power.The upper caste who composed just 13.2% of the population were controlling most of the land while the backwards who were 51% own very little land.With the advent of Lalu thd economic profile of the state changed too with the backward caste diversifying their occupational pattern as well as controlling more swathes of land.

As already stated Lalu installed a sense of confidence among Muslims by stopping Lal Krishna Advani's controversial "Rath yatra". Muslims of Bihar were feeling a sense of insecurity after the ghastly 1989 Bhagalpur riots. The Satyendra Narayan Singh government failed to control law and order situation thus death toll reached over 1000.The people affected were mostly poor weavers and others belonging to low strata of society and hence they were looking for a leader who could control the deteriorating situation of state under Congress.According to Kalyani, during this period upper castes were totally marginalized and backwards came to control the power firmly.


Corruption, Conviction And Criticism

Corruption cases

Yadav has been convicted and jailed in two scams. As of January 2018, he, his wife, his sons Tejashwi Yadav and Tej Pratap Yadav, and his daughter Misa Bharti were all facing charges in several other corruption cases.

1996 Fodder Scam – 1st case

Yadav was an accused party and later convicted in the first Fodder Scam case of 1996. The case involved the siphoning off of about ₹ 4.50 billion ($ 111.85 million) from the animal husbandry department.

Several allegations of embezzlement from the animal husbandry department were tabled between 1990–95. In January 1996, a raid conducted on Chaibasa treasury indicated the siphoning off of funds by non-existent companies. Yadav ordered an inquiry to probe the 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, the CBI filed the charge sheet in the case and made Yadav an accused. The charge forced Yadav to resign from the office of Chief Minister, at which time he appointed his wife, Rabri Devi, to the office.

In 2001, the Supreme Court of India transferred the scam cases to newly-formed court in Ranchi, Jharkhand. The trial began 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 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 served a notice to Yadav and his wife in response to a petition which alleged that they have been interfering with the investigation.

Yadav, along with 44 other accused, was convicted on 30 September 2013 after being found guilty in fraudulent withdrawal of ₹ 37 crores (₹ 370 million) from Chaibasa treasury. Several other politicians, IAS officers were also convicted in the case. Immediately after the verdict was pronounced, Yadav was arrested and taken to Birsa Munda Central Jail, located at Ranchi. Yadav was disqualified as MP for six years. He was 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 his conviction.

1998 disproportionate assets case

In 1998, a disproportionate assets case arising out of the 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 Chief Minister of Bihar, Yadav was remanded in Beur jail for 11 days. They were acquitted in 2006. The Bihar government wanted to appeal against the acquittal but the Supreme Court in 2010 ruled that the state government can not challenge such rulings.

1996 Fodder Scam – 2nd case

Yadav was convicted and jailed in the second Fodder Scam case of INR8.927 million[58] on the same day 23 December 2017 when his daughter Misa Bharti was also charged by the Enforcement Directorate of having disproportionate assets. Yadav was convicted 23 December 2017 and sentenced on 6 January 2018 to 3½ years' imprisonment and INR1,000,000 fine) for the fraudulent withdrawal of INR8,900,000 from the Deoghar district treasury between 1990 and 1994.

1996 Fodder Scam – 3rd case

This case, pertaining to scamming INR356.2 million scammed from the Chaibasa tresury of West Singhbhum district,

1996 Fodder Scam – 4th case

Yadav 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

This case, pertaining to the scamming of INR1.84 billion from the Doranda tresary in Ranchi, is still pending in the Special CBI Court (c. Jan

2005 Indian Railway tender scam

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 Yadav's tenure as Railway Minister. Transfer of these properties as bribe to Yadav 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 case

Investigated by the Enforcement Directorate (ED), against Yadav, his wife, son Tejashwi, daughter Misa 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 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 the CBI lodged an FIR on 5 July 2017, ED 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.

2017 AB Exports cases

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.

2017 Patna zoo soil scam

2017 Patna zoo soil scam is a allegation/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).

The Bihar government said that official procedure was duly followed in the case and prima facie no evidence of irregularity has come into light in zoo soil deal.


Corruption, nepotistism and dynasticism

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. 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.



Lalu Prasad has written his autobiography named Gopalganj to Raisina Raod.



Padmashree Laloo Prasad Yadav (Bollywood), Special appearance

Mahua (Bhojiwood)

Gudri Ke Lal (Bhojiwood)



A writer named Neena Jha has written a book on Lalu Prasad named Lalu Prasad, India's miracle.

Book named Laloo Prasad Yadav: A Charismatic Leader was published in 1996.

"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.[79][80]



Padmashree Laloo Prasad Yadav, the Bollywood movie was released in 2005. It was based on a girl named Padmshree, her Boyfriend Laloo, her Laywer Prasad and Yadav was Lalu Prasad himself as a special appearance.

Upcoming Bhojpuri film Lalten is a biopic based on the life of Lalu Prasad.