PATNA: Bihar’s jailed don-turned-politician and former MP Anand Mohan’s wife Lovely Anand formally joined Congress on Friday, underlining the party’s alacrity to shore up its upper-caste support base in the state in time before the Lok Sabha polls.
Lovely, herself a former MP from Vaishali, was inducted into Congress by Congress’s Bihar in-charge Shaktisinh Gohil in presence of the party’s state chief Madan Mohan Jha, Rajya Sabha member Akhilesh Prasad Singh and several other senior leaders. Her son Chaitanya Anand and nearly 25 of her supporters also formally accepted primary membership of Congress.
The move is widely seen as part of Congress’s ongoing efforts to regain its following among Bihar’s upper castes. Lovely, who had earlier been with JD(U) and HAM, hails from the Rajput caste, which accounts for 5.2 per cent of Bihar’s population and is the second biggest chunk in the state’s 17 per cent upper-caste groups, next only to Brahmins who comprise 5.7 per cent.
Lovely’s husband Anand Mohan is currently serving a life term in Saharsa jail for the brutal murder of Dalit IAS officer and then Gopalganj district magistrate G Krishnaiah in 1994. Anand Mohan, notorious for his muscle-flexing manners, was elected to Lok Sabha twice from Sheohar, remains a popular figure among the Rajputs. Bihar People’s Party (BPP), a party he had formed in the 1990s, had merged with Congress in 2004.
Both Anand Mohan and Lovely Anand were convicted of Krishnaiah’s murder in 2007. While Mohan was sentenced to death, Lovely was awarded life imprisonment. Patna High Court later commuted Mohan’s sentence to life term, which was upheld by the Supreme Court in July 2012, while Lovely Anand was acquitted by the HC.
She has since been running a social campaign across Bihar seeking to get public support to secure her husband’s release from jail, claiming that he is innocent. RJD national vice-president Shivanand Tiwari had met Anand Mohan in jail last year and said he was framed in the murder case.
Lovely, who had contested the last LS polls from Sheohar as a Samajwadi Party candidate and lost badly, is likely to get a Congress ticket to contest for the same seat in the upcoming polls, said party sources.