Rapists, murderers all in Bihar Assembly race

Out of 622 BJP and Congress nominees, 154 are tainted

Add the candidates of the two national parties, the Congress and the BJP, the list of tainted nominees swells to 154 out of 622 candidates in the fray for the first phase of polling slated for October 21.

And the mother of all surprises is Raj Kumar Keshri who faces rape charge but has been fielded by the BJP from Purnia. Incidentally, this is the party that called the Lalu-Rabri regime
“jungle raj”. But why blame the BJP alone.

Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) chief Ram Vilas Paswan has nominated Shankar Singh from Rupauli in Purnia. Shankar is one of the most tainted persons facing 29 serious criminal charges, including murder, attempt to murder and kidnapping.

Ironically, Paswan, in his election speech, always talks of weeding out criminals from politics but is often accompanied by Rama Singh, the LJP MLA who faces murder charges and Surajbhan Singh who faces murder, kidnapping and extortion charges. The case of Independent candidates is also quite embarrassing.

At least two Independent nominees – Mumtaz Ahmad and Manoj Paswan – face rape charges but are in the fray from Kochadhaman and Sonbarsa, respectively. The data has been compiled by National Election Watch (NEW) and Association for Democratic Reforms, two NGOs which have been working for electoral reforms, strengthening democracy and improving governance in Bihar.

“Out of 622 candidates in the fray, we have analysed 446 nominees through the affidavits they have filed with the Election Commission,” said Anil Bairwal, national coordinator of NEW.

“Out of the 47 constituencies going to the polls on October 21, there are 30 seats where three or more candidates are tainted. As such voters in these constituencies will get little choice so far as fair and honest candidates are concerned,” he rued.

Tainted list*

Party    Candidates    Cases
BJP             21             14
JD(U)          26             12
RJD             31             12
LJP             16             10
Cong          47             20
BSP             45            17

* 1st phase

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