PATNA: Criminal-turned-politician Anant Singh on Sunday attended a Congress roadshow in Patna along with the party’s senior leader and Rajya Sabha member Akhilesh Prasad Singh, asserting that he (Anant) would be the party’s candidate from Munger Lok Sabha seat despite resistance from ally RJD.
The road show was organised to mobilise public support for the proposed ‘Jan Akanksha Rally’ of Congress in Patna’s historic Gandhi Maidan on February 3. Congress president Rahul Gandhi would address this rally, which is going to be the party’s first major rally in Bihar in the past 28 years. State Congress leaders said more than five lakh people would attend the event.
Anant Singh, currently an independent MLA from Mokama who was previously close to Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, said at the road show that he would be the Opposition Grand Alliance candidate in Munger. When he had praised RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav and said he wanted to join RJD last month, RJD leader Tejashwi Prasad Yadav had rebuffed him. “There is no place for bad elements in RJD,” he had said.
“We thank Anant Singh on behalf of the entire Congress party. We are out together to destroy the regime of Narendra Modi and Nitish Kumar with this rally,” said Akhilesh Prasad Singh at the road show. On the question of Anant joining Congress, he said: “Where does that doubt arise now that we are together and have the same goal?”
Sources said the influential upper-caste leadership in the state Congress has already given the green signal to Anant, a three-term MLA who won the 2015 Assembly polls from inside the jail. Known as “Chhote Sarkar” in central Bihar, he faces 16 criminal cases including murder and abduction. He was arrested in June 2015 in connection with an abduction-cum-murder case. He is currently out on bail. Both he and Akhilesh hail from the Bhumihar upper caste.
“Talks have been finalised about my contesting on a Congress ticket in Munger. My only aim is to dethrone Narendra Modi and Nitish Kumar from power,” said Anant.
Lovely Anand, the wife of jailed don-turned-politician and ex-MP Anand Mohan, formally joined Congress on Friday, underlining the party’s alacrity to shore up its upper-caste support base in Bihar in time for the Lok Sabha polls.
“Only the party high command will decide who gets to join the party and gets a ticket. There is no problem in anyone seeking support for Rahul Gandhi’s rally,” said state Congress president Madan Mohan Jha, evading a direct answer on Annat Singh’s candidature from Munger.