Prison no bar for goons in poll-bound Uttar Pradesh

Prison no bar for goons in poll-bound Uttar Pradesh

Jailed netas, eyeing a win in next year elections, reach out to electorate

With Assembly polls barely months away, mafia dons-turned-politicians and musclemen, lodged in jails on different charges, are busy making ‘calculations’ in an attempt to contest the elections.

Supporters making a beeline for meeting them in jails is ample proof of their efforts to reach out to the electorate and launch poll campaigns, according to police sources. The  mafia men are either trying to secure nomination of a mainstream party, or projecting themselves as an independent candidate.

In many cases, jailed politicians have been even contemplating fielding their wives or sons in the poll.

Though lodged in the Agra jail, mafia don and independent MLA Mukhtar Ansari is busy with his plans to contest from Mau Assembly seat. Ansari has been meeting his supporters in jail and discussing the election strategy to ensure a smooth sailing, sources said.

Expelled Bahujan Samaj Party MLA Shekhar Tewari, lodged in Barabanki jail after being convicted of murdering a public works department engineer, is planning to contest as an Independent from Dibiyapur in Auraiya district. He could field his wife in case he finds it difficult to manage, said sources.

Another BSP MLA Purshottam Naresh Dwivedi, who is in jail on the charges of raping a teen, is also planning to contest as an Independent from Banda after failing to secure a renomination from the BSP.

Dwivedi has asked his supporters to start campaigning.

Serving a life sentence in Hardwar jail on the charges of killing poetess Madhumita Shukla, former UP minister Amar Mani Tripathi has been able to secure a Samajwadi Party ticket for his son Aman Mani Tripathi from Pharenda Assembly seat in Maharajganj district.

Tripathi has already started campaigning and the CDs containing his speeches have flooded his constituency. Samajwadi Party legislator Vijay Mishra, who is in Meerut jail, is likely to contest from Bhadohi.

 Lodged in Ahmedabad jail, gangster Brijesh Singh will also throw his hat in the ring as an independent from Sayyadraja Assembly seat in Chandauli district,while another history-sheeter Munna Bajarangi, lodged in Tihar Central Jail, could join the fray from Madiayhoon in Jaunpur district.

The administration has been keeping a close watch on people who are meeting the gangsters in jails. “After the Amar Mani CD case, we are not taking any chances...the jailed politicians may try to smuggle taped speeches and appeals outside jails,” officials said.

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