New Delhi: Lalu Prasad wants to be prime minister. The irrepressible leader of the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) and ally of the UPA at the Centre, says that given the choice he would love to have the most powerful job in the country just like any other politician.
Though the remark at the HT Leadership Summit was made tongue-in-cheek, it made TDP leader Chandrababu Naidu and other political heavyweights squirm. Afterall, it is their worst kept desire.
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What they saw of Lalu at the summit may have helped some to make up their minds.
The union railway minister deflected with élan searching questions like the one on minimum qualifications required to be the prime minister.
Lalu’s answer : he has to be a citizen of the country. If somebody like Kamaraj could have been such a great leader, why can’t the uneducated rise to positions of power in a democracy, Lalu asked.
When moderator and CNN-IBN editor-in-chief Rajdeep Sardesai asked what a convicted criminal like Mohammed Shahabuddin was doing in the RJD, Lalu said there was nothing wrong in it. Afterall, there was a chance that Shahabuddin could be acquitted by a higher court.
What about Rahul Gandhi? Can his ‘Discover India’ mobilize the youth?
Lalu went as far as to mention Rahul and the Mahatma in the same breath. Afterall, the Father of the Nation too had undertaken an India-wide trip before launching the freedom movement.