Was Lalu Prasad Yadav a joker, who humoured his way through politics? Was he the rustic face of a changing India, adding a crust of rural approach to policymaking? Was he a criminal, who chewed Rs 950 crore of fodder away? Or was he, as he told me a few years ago as Railway minister, a victim of conspiracy by his rich and powerful enemies?
The politician from Patna may have many achievements trailing him, the biggest of which is the rags to power high-jump — from a student leader in the Patna University to serving two terms as Bihar chief minister and finally a cabinet minister in charge of Railways in UPA 1. He may also have an equal number of disasters behind him, the pinnacle of which is the fodder scam for which he has now been convicted.