The BJP has fielded Yashbhadra Singh alias Monu Singh, a man with several criminal cases including that of murder pending against him, as party candidate for zila panchayat chairman’s post in Sultanpur.
Yashbhadra is brother of former BSP MLA Chandrabhadra Singh alias Sonu Singh who had joined BJP in May 2013. Names of both the brothers are registered as historysheeters at Kurebhar police station in Sultanpur.
A section of local BJP workers have opposed the party’s decision and communicated their message to senior leaders.
When asked, BJP state president Laxmikant Bajpai said that the tickets of zila panchayat candidates have been decided at district and regional unit level. “The matter of Sultanpur has come to my notice. I will inquire into it,” Bajpai claimed.
Yashbhadra has been named the official BJP candidate despite the fact that he has yet to take the membership of the party. Yashbhadhra remained the block pramukh of Dhanpatganj block development committee for last two consecutive terms. He contested the recently concluded zila panchayat member election from ward No. 23 as an independent candidate and won. The BJP had not fielded any candidate against him.
According to party sources, another party worker, Kiran Mishra, who was elected zila panchayat member from Dubeypur block, too, had applied for party ticket for zila panchayat chairperson post.
“Kiran withdrew her name later and party state leadership has decided Yashbhadra as its nominee. He has been named in some criminal cases but he has never been convicted. He was also acquitted in a case of murder. His name has been declared after approval of state leadership,” said Karuna Shankar Dwivedi, BJP’s Sultanpur district president. He admitted that Yashbhadra has not joined the BJP so far.
When contacted, Yashbhadra said that 10 cases, including one of murder, are pending against him. “These cases were lodged over political rivalries. I have been acquitted by the court in a case of murder,” he claimed.
He also claimed that there was no resentment in BJP against his candidature. “BJP did not field candidate against me in zila panchayat membership election. Kiran Mishra has withdrawn her claim for chairman post. I am contesting with the consent of all BJP leaders,” he claimed.
In the 46-member zila panchayat in Sultanpur, Yashbadhra will require 25 votes to get elected as chairman. BJP had declared 10 candidates in zila panchayat member elections and all won apart from its rebel workers, who, too, registered victories. Now, they (the rebels) are with the party, Yashbhadra claimed and said he has already started canvassing and is “sure” about his selection.
Yashbhadra was last in news in October 2010 when he was named in the murder of a revenue clerk whose wife contested the election for village pradhan against a candidate he supported. His brother, Chandrabhadra, had contested the 2012 Assembly polls from Sultanpur as Peace Party’s candidate after BSP denied him a ticket. Yashbhadra too had contested from Isauli for the Peace Party. Both had lost.
Chandrabhadra had earlier won Assembly polls from Isauli in 2007 as an SP candidate, but joined BSP in June 2009. He had then come out on parole from jail where he had been imprisoned in the case of murder of Sant Gyaneshwar. He later resigned from the Assembly (Isauli), and contested the by-election as a BSP candidate and won. In September 2010, both the brothers were acquitted in Sant Gyaneshwar murder case.