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In Bihar, few bahubalis in poll fray this time

By M I Khan
April 06, 2019 08:55 IST
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Many bahubalis have fielded their wives and relatives as proxies.
M I Khan reports from Patna.

IMAGE: Former MP and Siwan bahubali Mohammed Shahabuddin.

The Lok Sabha election in Bihar will see few bahubalis -- or musclemen politicians -- in the poll fray.

Many have fielded their wives and relatives.

Till the 2014 Lok Sabha election, bahubali leaders contesting the polls was common.

After pressure from the Election Commission, the courts as well as unfavourable public opinion, these bahubalis have been forced to field their wives and relatives instead of contesting themselves.


Former MPs Mohammad Shahabuddin and Surajbhan Singh as well as other bahubalis like Prabhunath Singh, Anant Singh, Munna Shukla, Rajan Tiwari, Satish Chand Dubey, Rama Singh, Manoranjan Singh etc are not contesting the election this time.

Shahabuddin was debarred from contesting elections after being convicted in several criminal cases including murder and kidnapping.

Shahabuddin's wife Heena Sahab contested the 2009 and 2004 polls unsuccessfully.

The Rashtriya Janata Dal has again fielded her from the Siwan Lok Sabha seat, once considered Shahabuddin's undisputed stronghold.

The ruling Janata Dal-United has fielded Kaveeta Devi, the wife of Ajay Singh, a man known as dabang, in Siwan. Kaveeta Devi is a JD-U MLA.

Surajbhan Singh's wife Veena Devi contested the 2014 polls from Munger and won. She is not contesting this time.

Surajbhan Singh's younger brother Chandan Kumar, a builder, has been fielded from Nawada by the Lok Janshakti Party, an ally of the Bharatiya Janata Party.

Pappu Yadav -- a bahubali MP from Madhepura who was formerly with the RJD -- is contesting from Madhepura as a candidate of his Jan Adhikar Party.

Pappu Yadav thrice won the Lok Sabha polls from Purnea -- 1991, 1996 and 1999 -- and twice from Madhepura -- 2004 and 2014.

He was sentenced to life imprisonment by a lower court for the murder of Communist Party of India-Marxist MLA Ajit Sarkar in 1998. Later, the Patna high court acquitted him for lack of evidence. The case is now pending in the Supreme Court.

The Congress has fielded Ranjeet Ranjan, Pappu Yadav's wife and sitting MP, from Supaul.

"In Bihar, BJP allies the LJP and JD-U and the grand alliance led by the RJD have one thing in common. All of them have fielded bahubalis and their wives. No doubt, most of the bahubalis are themselves not in the fray," points out Anish Ankur, a political observer.

The BJP has fielded Rama Devi, wife of bahubali leader Brij Bihari Prasad, a former state minister who was murdered in 1998, in Sheohar.

The RJD has fielded dabang Surendra Yadav in Jehanabad and Sarfaraz Alam from Araria. Both men are facing criminal cases.

The RJD has also fielded Vibha Devi in Nawada -- she is the wife of Rajballabh Yadav who was convicted for raping a minor girl.

Lovely Anand, wife of former MP Anand Mohan, a criminal-turned-politician who is in jail, is not contesting from Sheohar as the Congress denied her a ticket.

Mohan was convicted for inciting a mob that lynched Gopalganj District Magistrate G Krishnaiah in 1994. Mohan's sentence was commuted to life imprisonment by the Patna high court.

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