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Rediff.com  » News » Voters to decide fate of Bahubalis in Bihar polls

Voters to decide fate of Bahubalis in Bihar polls

October 20, 2010 15:15 IST
Lakhs of voters will vote on Thursday in first of the six-phase Bihar assembly polls to decide fate of dozens of Bahubalis, criminals- turned-politicians, and their wives who are in the fray. In 47 of 243 assembly seats going to polls on October 21, dozens of candidates with criminal records, will seek the people's mandate.

The ruling Janata Dal-United's candidates with criminal backgrounds are Sarfaraz Alam, Neeraj Kumar Singh and Bacchan Yadav. The charges against the trio include extortion, kidnapping, and murder.

Alam, the son of former Union minister Mohammad Taslimuddin, is the JD-U candidate from Jokihat constituency.

Neeraj Kumar Singh is the JD-U candidate from Chatapur while Yadav is contesting from Bihariganj.

Nitish Kumar is also campaigning for Lesi Singh, wife of slain gangster Butan Singh, who is contesting from Dhamdaha constituency. Lesi Singh is a former chairperson of Bihar Women's Commission.

Other tainted JD-U candidates include Bima Bharti, wife of gangster Awadesh Mandal who is contesting from Rupauli constituency, Punam Devi, wife of criminal-turned-politician Ranvir Yadav who is contesting from Khagaria constituency and Annu Shukla, wife of JD-U legislator Munna Shukla, who is currently in jail for the murder of former Bihar minister Brijbihari Prasad.

The Bharatiya Janata Party's Damyanti Devi, wife of gangster Bhagir Yadav, is in the fray from Narpatganj constituency.

The Rashtriya Janata Dal-Lok Janshakti Party combine's 'tainted' candidates in the fray are Shankar Singh from Rupauli and Dilip Yadav from Narpatganj.

Congress candidate Lovely Anand, wife of former MP Anand Mohan, a criminal turned politician, is facing a difficult battle in Alamnagar constituency. Lovely, a former MP faces a tough fight after her husband Anand Mohan, was convicted for inciting a mob that lynched to death Gopalganj District Magistrate G Krishnaiyah in 1994. Anand Mohan's sentence was commuted to life imprisonment by the Patna High Court. She is banking that her caste the Rajputs, to win the seat.

Another Congress candidate Ranjeet Ranjan, wife of former MP Rajiv Ranjan alias Pappu Yadav, is also fighting a tough battle in Bihariganj constituency in Madhepura .Ranjan is trying to woo voters against her main rival Renu Kumari Kushwaha, who is the state agriculture minister.

Kushwaha is known to be close to Chief minister Nitish Kumar, who has been camping in Madhepura for the last five days to campaign for party candidates in the Kosi belt.

Ranjeet Ranjan, a former MP, is a good orator but her husband Pappu Yadav's criminal antecedents may prove costly for her.

According to a report by the Association for Democratic Reforms and National Election Watch, a group of more than 1,200 NGOs, as many as 154 candidates in the first round of polls face criminal charges.

Out of these, 97 candidates have cases of murder, attempt to murder, kidnapping, extortion, causing hurt by dangerous weapons and dacoity registered against them, the report said.

About 1crore voters will decide the fate of 635 candidates in the fray for the first lot of the 47 assembly constituencies. The areas going to the polls are in the flood prone and poverty stricken Kosi-Seemanchal and Mithilanchal belt. Most of the 10,454 polling booths are in rural areas.

M I Khan in Patna