RJD’s Nawada leader Rajballabh Yadav, who was recently convicted of raping a minor, has been suspended from the party, but when it came to select a candidate for the Nawada Lok Sabha seat, the RJD gave a ticket to Rajballabh’s wife Vibha Devi.
The Congress might not have allowed Mokama strongman and Independent MLA Anant Singh to share the dais with party president Rahul Gandhi in Patna this February, but the party has fielded Singh’s wife Nilam Devi from Munger.
Five “bahubali” leaders of Bihar — three convicted of serious charges — have been trying to rule by proxy by fielding their family members in the Lok Sabha polls.
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The RJD has fielded wives of two bahubalis and the son of another. Hina Shahab, the wife of Siwan muscleman and former RJD MP Mohammad Shahabuddin, has been fielded by the RJD for the third time. Shahab will face JD (U) nominee Kavita Singh, the wife of strongman Ajay Singh. The RJD has also fielded Randhir Singh, son of former MP Prabhunath Singh, from Maharajganj. Prabhunath Singh was convicted in 2017 in a 22-year-old murder case.
The LJP, which had fielded wife of muscleman former MP Suraj Bhan, Veena Devi, successfully from Munger in the 2014 elections, has given a ticket to Bhan’s brother Chandan Kumar from Nawada this time.
Though RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav expressed his reservation against the possible candidature of Anant Singh or his wife from Munger from ally Congress’s share, Congress Rajya Sabha MP Akhilesh Singh succeeded in getting a ticket for Anant’s wife.
While some Congress leaders are not happy with the party fielding Singh’s wife, several party leaders have said the RJD has “no moral authority to preach” as it had “given tickets to family members of three convicts and Anant Singh is not a convict”.
RJD spokesperson Mrityunjay Tewary said, “There is no case against family members of the leaders being questioned. There are awaiting verdicts of higher courts on their conviction. It is also true that every party takes into account the winnability factor. LJP and JD (U) should also explain why they gave tickets tothe wife of muscleman Ajay Singh and the brother of Suraj Bhan.”
JD (U) spokesperson Neeraj Kumar said, “While our Siwan candidate Kavita Singh’s husband Ajay Singh is not convicted in any case, everyone is aware of Mohammed Shahabuddin’s long reign of terror…Likewise, Rajballabh Yadav’s conviction is a rape case has shamed RJD.”