Indrabhushan Singh, the 41-year-old-son of the slain Ranvir Sena chief, Brahmeshwar Singh Mukhia, is banking on his father’s “legacy” to win the keenly watched Tarari seat of Bhojpur district, which goes to polls in the third phase in Bihar elections on 28 October.
Indrabhushan, who is a graduate in Geography, is contesting on a Samajwadi Party ticket after his efforts to contest on a BJP ticket did not materialise. Senior Bhumihar BJP leaders like C.P. Thakur had publicly supported the demand of Indrabhushan for a BJP ticket from Tarari, but their efforts proved futile.
Speaking to The Sunday Guardian, Indrabhushan, who is one among three Bhumihar candidates seeking votes from the people of Tarari, said that his claim to the Bhumihar voters of Tarari was more than his competitors, which include former Union minister and former Member of Parliament Akhilesh Pratap Singh, who is contesting on a Congress ticket as the Grand Alliance candidate and Gita Pandey, the NDA-LJP nominee, who is the wife of former JDU MLA and criminal turned politician, Sunil Pandey.
“My father devoted his entire life for the cause of the Bhumihars. He lived for them and died for them and all Bhumihar voters are supporting me. The other two Bhumihar candidates are not even in the fight in this election. My only competition is from the CPI (ML) candidate Sudama Prasad,” he said.
Political pundits following the election, too, confirmed that Sudama Prasad was in a very strong position from the seat.
Ranvir Sena, an upper caste militia which is suspected to be involved in the killing of at least 200 people including children and women from the Scheduled Castes, originated in Bhojpur in 1994 with the aim of taking on the communist movement led by various Naxalite groups in central Bihar. Its founder, Brahmeshwar Singh Mukhia, who spent close to 10 years in prison, was shot dead by six unidentified gunmen in June 2012 at Bhojpur (Bihar) while he was on his morning walk.
Ranvir Sena, an upper caste militia which is suspected to be involved in the killing of at least 200 people from the Scheduled Castes, originated in Bhojpur in 1994.
Unlike his father, who was called the “Butcher of Bihar” by the local media, Indrabhushan has no criminal cases against him. According to Indrabhushan, the Bhumihar community had taken a vow to defeat the NDA candidate Gita Pandey, as the community was convinced that her husband Sunil Pandey was behind the killing of ‘Mukhiaji’.
“I am not saying this (that Sunil Pandey was behind the killing of Mukhiaji), it is the unanimous feeling of the Bhumihar community that my father was killed at the behest of Sunil Pandey and they will not let him or his wife win. The death of my father is a very big issue for our community members and they will not allow anyone who is associated with his death to win,” he claimed.
Indrabhsuhan said that contrary to popular perception, the Dalits were supporting him. “Before taking the electoral plunge, I have been working for the farmers for the past 6-7 years under the aegis of Akhil Bharatiya Rashtravadi Kisan Sangathan. Farmers do not belong to any caste or creed and our organisation has supported farmers from all communities, including Muslims and Dalits. The cadre that is working for me has several members from the backward community and that is why I am getting the support from every community,” he said.