Paswan employs Osama clone BISHESHWAR MISHRA TIMES NEWS NETWORK[ WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 19, 2005 10:56:11 PM ] Sign into earnIndiatimes points NEW DELHI: Ram Vilas Paswan seems to have dug out the ultimate weapon to woo Muslim voters of Bihar — an Osama bin Laden look-alike, who is tagging him to election meetings. This bin Laden clone is one Maulana Meraj Khalid Noor, with whose endorsement Paswan is hoping to fell the reigning champion of Muslims in Bihar — his bete noire Lalu Prasad. TOI caught up with Paswan on Wednesday and asked if it was proper to try and attract minority voters by lionising the symbol of international terror. Paswan seemed to have been taken by surprise, but gathering his wits, he asked: "What can you do if your face looks like Saddam Hussain or Osama bin Laden?" He claimed the man who looked like Osama — Meraj Khalid Noor — was the son of a close friend of his. "His father and I have known each other for a very long time. We had together joined the old socialist party." Paswan was at pains to stress that he didn’t mean to uphold terrorism, especially a terror icon like bin Laden. But he admitted that Osama did have some following among the Muslim youth, although the vast majority of Muslims think that he has harmed Islam and the community. Underplaying the whole episode, Paswan insisted it "did not mean anything" just because "somebody who looked like Osama" has campaigned for him. But other political parties, and perhaps the Election Commission too, might hold a different view. Party sources said that Khalid Noor is a young man from Narpat Ganj in Bihar. He had sought an election ticket from Paswan only on the ground that he looked like Osama, but Paswan had turned it down. However, he decided to make use of him for campaigning. The youth himself likes to be called ‘Laden’, saying that no one will remember his real name.