RJD has announced candidates, giving tickets to criminals and their kin.

 

New Delhi: A desperation that stems from being out of power, has led to the RJD leadership reneging on its self-made promise to the voters of the state not to give tickets to criminal elements and their kin.

The RJD—which for the last few years under the leadership of Tejashwi Yadav—was focusing on washing off the image of being a political party that nurtures criminals, is now battling the same perception due to the tickets that it has given to criminals and their relatives.

On 3 July, while speaking at a rally in Patna, Tejashwi Yadav had sought forgiveness from the people of the state for the wrongs that had happened during the 15-year-time period when his father, Lalu Prasad Yadav, and Rabri Devi were the CMs of the state. This had led to strong speculation that he, unlike in the past, will stay away from nurturing and giving political patronage to criminals. However, all such speculation was laid to rest after the party announced its candidates.

The jewel in the crown, so to speak, among all the criminals given tickets by the RJD, is the 59-year-old Anant Singh from the Mokama seat, which is less than 100 km from the state capital Patna.

Singh is in prison right now, but that is unlikely to stop him from winning on the seat where he has won thrice earlier, in 2005, 2010 and 2015. An astonishing 38 FIRs have been filed against Singh, the first of which was filed in May 1979 for murder; the case is still pending.

All these FIRs, except four, are related to serious offences like murder, sheltering criminals, recovery of arms, torture, kidnapping and causing grievous hurt with the intention to kill.

“Chhote Sarkar”, as Singh is fondly called by his supporters, runs a parallel law and order system in his area which has forced even people like Nitish Kumar to continue supporting him till very recently, Singh, whose closeness with Nitish Kumar was never a state secret, was the JDU MLA for three terms. Now, Tejashwi Yadav has given him the RJD ticket as Singh is likely to win the seat.

In August 2019, the district police had recovered an Ak-47 rifle from Singh’s house. The last time the state police had recovered an Ak-47 rifle from politicians was in April 2005 from the Siwan house of RJD strongman Mohammad Shahabuddin.

The general consensus among political observers in Bihar is that this time, the election result will be a very close contest and hence every winning MLA will count.

Rit Lal Rai @ Yadav, who is the RJD’s candidate from the Danapur seat, which has now become an extension of Patna city, has 14 FIRs against him and was/is an accused in 33 cases. The offences that he has been accused of includes murder, attempt to murder, carrying illegal arms, recovery of stolen property, dacoity, buying illegal property, extortion, money laundering and damaging public property. While still in prison, he contested and won the Bihar Legislative Council elections as an independent candidate in 2015, a victory which was attributed to the money, apart from the muscle power, he has accumulated.

Rai, known as the “terror of Danapur”, had lost three fingers in a shoot-out in April 2003 while allegedly executing the killing of senior BJP leader Satya Narain Sinha on the outskirts of Patna. In June 2004, he allegedly killed two railway contractors in the AC two-tier coach inside the Howrah-Danapur Express which was still moving even as the train was reaching Patna. Like Singh, Rai, too, is expected to win the seat by unseating the sitting BJP MLA Asha Sinha, who is the wife of Satya Narain Sinha.

(L-R) Anant Singh and Rit Lal Rai

Similarly, the RJD candidate from Atri, Gaya, Ajay Yadav, is facing court cases in 14 FIRs. The offences include murder, attempt to murder, rioting, theft, voluntarily causing hurt and using prohibited arms.

Apart from them, the RJD has given tickets to Veena Singh from Mahnar in Vaishali. She is the wife of Ramakishor Singh who is a well know strongman of the region and has four cases against him, including that of murder, kidnapping, voluntarily causing hurt and criminal conspiracy.

The RJD’s candidate from Nawada seat is Vibha Devi who is the wife of former RJD MLA and rape accused Raj Ballabh Yadav. Yadav, was suspended from the RJD after he was convicted of the rape of a minor in December 2018 and sentenced to life imprisonment. He is still absconding.

Another wife of an absconding RJD MLA, who has been given ticket is Kiran Devi, who will be contesting from the Sandesh seat. She is the wife of Arun Kumar Yadav, a strongman who has been on the run since September 2019 after he was found to be involved in a sex racket. The state police has already filed a charge-sheet against him under the provisions of IPC relating to human trafficking, sexual assault, Immoral Traffic Prevention Act, POCSO Act and Juvenile Justice Act.

The RJD has also given tickets to the mother-son duo of Lovely Anand and Chetan Anand from Saharsa and Sheohar seat respectively. Lovely’s husband is the infamous criminal turned politician, Anand Mohan Singh who is serving life sentence for his involvement in the

Both former MP Lovely Anand and her son Chetan Anand have got RJD tickets from the Saharsa and Sheohar Assembly constituencies. Lovely Anand is the wife of imprisoned don-turned-neta Anand Mohan Singh, who took part in the broad day lynching and shooting of the then District Magistrate of Gopalganj G. Krishnaiah, a 1985 batch IAS officer, in December 1994.