M.J. Akbar in Khaleej Times:
“In the general elections of 2004 Lalu Prasad Yadav used to tow around a maulvi when in campaign mode… He was a lookalike of Osama bin Laden. He even handed out autographs signed “Osama….
“Did Sonia Gandhi, an ally of Lalu Yadav, question him or even raise the subject? Not a word. Votes were more important, even if they came in the name of Osama bin Laden. Did the subject arise when Mrs Gandhi offered Lalu Yadav a prominent place in Dr Manmohan Singh‘s Cabinet? No.
“In the Assembly elections that soon followed the general elections he had switched over – or, to be more precise, had been purchased by – Ram Vilas Paswan. Did the Congress ask questions this time around? Not a chance.
“Votes, votes, votes: that was the only morality.
“It was all dismissed as a joke, and the laughter was doubtless very hearty in the comfortable drawing rooms of Lutyens‘ Delhi.
“The joke has soured on the killing fields of Malegaon, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Bangalore, Ahmedabad and a roster of cities that could enter the list of dread. The dead do not laugh even when there is a comedian as rich in range as Lalu Yadav.
“The innocents have been killed and maimed by terrorists who have Osama bin Laden as their inspiration.”
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