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Is Nitish Kumar Favouring A Convict To Win Rajput Votes?

April 14, 2023 11:24 IST
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In January, Nitish Kumar assured the Rajputs that he has been making efforts to release Anand Mohan from jail.

IMAGE: Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar pays tribute to Emperor Asoka on his birth anniversary at the SKM hall in Patna, March 29, 2023. Photograph: ANI Photo

Jailed former MP Anand Mohan Singh, who is serving a life sentence for lynching district magistrate G Krishnaiah, is once again out on parole for 15 days.

Two days ago, Anand Mohan, who was lodged in the Saharsa district jail, was granted parole.

It is the third time in the last six months that Anand Mohan was granted parole.

In November 2022, Anand Mohan secured his first parole, followed by the second in February 2023 to attend his daughter's marriage, and now the third parole to attend his son's marriage.

In January, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar assured the Rajputs -- the community to which Anand Mohan belongs -- while addressing a rally in honour of the legendary Maharana Pratap that he has been making efforts to release Anand Mohan from jail.

Lovely Anand -- Anand Mohan's wife and former MP -- is a Rashtriya Janata Dal leader and his son Chetan Anand is an RJD MLA; both are considered close to Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Yadav.

The Mahagathbandhan may field Lovely Anand from a parliamentary seat having enough Rajput voters to challenge the BJP that is seen as the party popular in the community.

Anand Mohan reportedly enjoys strong support among Rajputs in the flood-prone Kosi region, from where he hails, and the neighbouring Seemanchal and Mithilanchal regions as well.

For many in his home district of Saharsa and neighbouring Supaul with its sizeable population of Rajputs, Anand Mohan is considered a messiah.

With the Lok Sabha election hardly a year away, the ruling Mahagathbandhan consisting of Kumar's Janata Dal-United, the RJD, the Congress, the Hindustani Awam Morcha, hopes to make a dent in upper caste votes, considered a strong and loyal social support base of the BJP in Bihar.

Anand Mohan has been imprisoned for over a decade after the life sentence awarded to him in the 1994 murder of then Gopalganj district magistrate G Krishnaiah.

In 2007, the Patna high court awarded Anand Mohan a death sentence.

The court pronounced the verdict 13 years after a mob led by the husband-wife duo of Anand Mohan and Lovely Anand shot at and then stoned to death Krishnaiah, the Gopalganj district magistrate, on a national highway near Muzaffarpur.

Later, the court converted the death sentence awarded to him to a life term.

Krishnaiah, a 1985 batch Indian Administrative Service officer, who belonged to Andhra Pradesh, was forcibly dragged out of his official vehicle and killed by henchmen of Anand Mohan in Vaishali district when he was on the way to Patna to attend a meeting.

According to the police investigation report, after being attacked and beaten to near-death, Krishnaiah was also shot.

The police officials reportedly said Krishnaiah's vehicle was intercepted by a mob led by Anand Mohan.

The mob was protesting the killing of Kaushalendra 'Chutan' Shukla, a leader of Anand Mohan's Bihar People's Party.

Anand Mohan faced several criminal cases, including those related to murder, attempt to murder, extortion and abduction, in various courts.

He formed the Krantikari Samajwadi Sena in 1980, but lost the Lok Sabha election that year. He became a Janata Dal legislator in 1990.

The next year, he was accused of killing an Independent candidate from Madhepura.

He formed the Bihar People's Party in 1993, but failed to win any of the three assembly seats he contested in 1995.

He entered the Lok Sabha in 1996 from Sheohar.

After Anand Mohan was convicted in Krishnaiah's murder, the Bihar People's Party slowly lost ground.

He then joined hands with the Samata Party led by George Fernandes and Nitish Kumar and worked with them when they formed the Janata Dal-United.

Since the late 1990s till the early 2000s, he joined all the political parties in Bihar one after another except the Left.

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