PATNA: Anant Kumar Singh, the sitting independent MLA from Mokama, is named in 38 criminal cases including cases of economic offences and atrocities against SC/ST. He is currently lodged in Patna’s Beur jail in connection with a case related to the recovery of an AK-47 rifle and ammunition from his house.
Despite the long list of criminal cases against him, Singh has been given a ticket by the Rashtriya Janata Dal for the upcoming assembly elections.
Similarly, RJD has nominated Ajay Yadav, sitting MLA from Atarai, who is named in 14 criminal cases in Gaya district.
Among the 42 candidates declared by the RJD so far, over 20 have criminal charges pending against them. The party has justified fielding such candidates citing their ‘popularity’ and ‘probability of winning’ as reasons.
The party had said these candidates are more politically active in their areas and have been working for the people’s welfare. That’s why their probability of winning is more, the party reasoned.
In February this year, the Supreme Court had asked political parties to upload details of criminal cases against candidates on their websites, newspapers and social media and give reasons for fielding them.
Mukesh Kumar Raushan, Munna Yadav, Prahalad Yadav and Bharat Bind, contesting from Mahua, Minapur, Suryagarha and Bhabhua seats, respectively, also have multiple cases against them but have been given RJD ticket due to the high chances of winning.
The list also includes others against whom cases have been registered for assault, possession of weapons and other offences. In 2015, 136 of the total 243 elected legislators had pending criminal cases.
RJD led the list with 45 out of 80 MLAs facing criminal cases followed by JD-U (34 out of 69), BJP (34 out of 54) and Congress (14 out of 15), as per a report by the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) and Bihar Election Watch.
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