Don-turned-politician Pappu Yadav was given a hero’s welcome after he came out of the Beur Jail on Tuesday following a Patna High Court order last week which acquitted him in the CPM legislator Ajit Sarkar murder case.
Many political parties, including the Congress, appeared to be more than eager to keep Pappu under its flock. Pappu’s wife and former Lok Janashakti Party (LJP) MP Ranjeeta Ranjan is now with the Congress.
She had unsuccessfully contested the 2009 Lok Sabha elections on the party ticket. With Pappu out of the jail, the husband-wife duo may not only boost the sagging morale of the grand old party, but also add to the tally of Congress’ parliamentary seats in the Seemanchal area in 2014.
This is the area where Pappu has ruled the roost since 1990s. He became a Lok Sabha member in 1991, 1996 and 1999 from Purnia. He also won the 2004 Lok Sabha byelection from Madhepura after Lalu resigned from his second constituency. Such is the clout of Pappu that he won the parliamentary polls even from behind bars.
In and out
Pappu has been in and out of jail since 1999 after he was made one of the accused in the Ajit Sarkar murder case. Sarkar was gunned down in Purnia on June 14, 1998. Designated CBI judge Birendra Mohan Srivastava on February 14, 2008, awarded Pappu life imprisonment for his involvement in the murder case. But the High Court ruling last week gave him the benefit of the doubt and acquitted him.
No wonder, legislators from Pappu’s erstwhile party, the Rashtriya Janata Dal, also had come to the Beur Jail during his release on Tuesday to show their solidarity.
At the crack of the don
1991, 1996, 1999: Won Lok Sabha poll from Purnia
1999: Accused in CPM MLA Ajit Sarkar murder case.
2004: Won the bypoll from LS seat from behind bars
2008: Convicted and awarded life-term for killing CPM MLA
2009: SC debars him from contesting elections
2010: SC cancels his bail given by Patna High Court
2010: CBI apprehends him from Gurgaon, sent him to Beur jail.
2013: Patna HC acquits him in Sarkar murder case.