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It's Lalu not Laloo and it's official

By Tara Shankar Sahay in New Delhi
June 24, 2004 13:24 IST
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Railway Minister Laloo Prasad Yadav did not start spelling his name differently after he moved to Delhi as a Union minister. It was always Lalu Prasad Yadav, insist senior officials in the ministry.

It's Lalu, not Laloo. Pic: PRAKASH SINGH/AFP/Getty Images"The minister has not changed his name. Everybody knows that [it is Lalu] in his home state Bihar. It is the media which distorted the spelling, sometimes with deliberate mischief," a senior railway official told

The official said Parliament and other official records have always had the minister's name spelt as Lalu.

"Now that Laluji is the railway minister in the United Progressive Alliance government and has come to Delhi, the media is exercising caution in ensuring that his name is correctly spelt," the official pointed out.

He hinted that Lalu's political adversaries both in Bihar and Delhi were responsible for distorting his name.

For years the former Bihar chief minister, known as much for his earthy ways of life as his eccentricities, had his name spelt as Laloo or Lallu or several other variations thereof in the English media.

Lallu in Hindi means dim-witted and the minister's supporters believe the distortion was deliberate and done at the behest of his political opponents. has always spelt the minister's name as Laloo. But we will switch to the official spelling now. It will be Lalu Prasad Yadav.


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Tara Shankar Sahay in New Delhi