Bihar: Tainted leaders may paint wrong picture of Cong

Bihar: Tainted leaders may paint wrong picture of Cong

The streets in Patna are splashed with posters of controversial leaders Anant Singh and Pappu Khan appealing people to attend Rahul Gandhi’s rally here on February 3. ( Photo by Mohan Prasad)

The Congress is pulling out all the stops to make Rahul Gandhi’s proposed rally in Patna on February 3 a grand success. But in doing so, the moribund Bihar Congress, which is out of power for the last three decades after it was ousted by Lalu Prasad in March 1990, is now seeking the help of musclemen-turned-politicians to stay afloat.

Shorn of dedicated workers and activists, the party has turned its eye to those Bahubalis (heavyweights) who could shore up party’s strength on Sunday at Gandhi Maidan in the State Capital.

One such leader is Independent MLA, Anant Singh, the self-proclaimed terror of Mokama. Anant was with Nitish Kumar’s JD (U) and won thrice from Mokama, his fiefdom. But once the controversial leader became too big for his boots, Nitish threw him out of JD (U) and even got him arrested on the eve of 2015 Assembly elections. But the don-turned-politician entered the fray as an Independent and romped home during polls.

Now Anant Singh has thrown his weight behind Congress and claimed that he would be the grand old party’s nominee from Munger during Lok Sabha elections. Though RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav said there was no place for “bad elements” like Anant in the Grand Alliance, the Bhumihar (dominant upper caste) leader has put up posters in the State Capital appealing people to “attend Rahul Gandhi’s Jan Akanksha rally in large numbers on February 3.”

Another controversial leader Pappu Khan also accompanied Anant Singh when the latter took out a roadshow in the State Capital to drum up support in favour of Congress rally. “My name has been finalised as Congress nominee from Munger. So I am working for the party,” said the controversial legislator, who faces dozens of cases related to kidnapping and extortion, including abducting a journalist from the electronic media.

“We are deeply pained and anguished over such shady characters getting prominence in a party which earlier abhorred such elements,” a former president of Bihar Congress, refusing to be identified, told Deccan Herald here on Monday.

To buttress his point, he cited the induction of former MP Lovely Anand in the Congress last week. Lovely is the wife of jailed ex-MP Anand Mohan, who is behind bars following his conviction in the killing of former District Magistrate G Krishnaiah.