Patna: Almost all political parties in Bihar have fielded candidates with criminal background in the ensuing Assembly elections with the ruling JD(U) and BJP
topping the list with 72 such nominees.
National Election Watch, an NGO, says according to the affidavit filed by candidates for the six-phased elections, BJP has fielded 41 `tainted` candidates, while JD(U) has 31
such nominees in the fray.
Ramvilas Paswan`s LJP has 13 candidates, who according to their affidavits, have been chargesheeted in criminal cases.
The affidavits of 57 RJD candidates show that the party has fieled 22 who have criminal cases pending against them, the NGO said.
Some of the candidates face charges of murder, kidnapping, extortion and loot.
LJP has fielded Rama Singh, who faces over a dozen criminal charges including murder and extortion, from Mahnar in Vaishali district, besides Shankar Singh at Rupauli.
The LJP candidate from Araria Zakir Hussain also faces criminal cases.
RJD has fielded candidates with criminal antecedents, including Md Anwarul Haque (Bajpaati), Lalit Kumar Yadav (Darbhanga Rural), Md Israil (Kanti), Samrat Choudhary alias Rakesh Kumar (Parbatta), Prahalad Yadav (Surajgarha), Dr Ramanand Yadav (Fatua), Vijay Prakash (Jamui).
It has also fielded Surendra Prasad Yadav from a constituency in Gaya. He is known as `Magadh Samrat` for his muscle power in the Maoist-affected Magadh division comprising Gaya, Aurangabad, Jehanabad, Nawada and Arwal districts.
The RJD, which has nine candidates facing criminal cases in its first list of 65, has fielded Kunti Devi, wife of alleged muscleman Rajendra Yadav, to contest from Atri (Gaya).
The BJP has given ticket to sitting Shahpur MLA Munni Devi whose husband Bhuvar Ojha and brother-in-law Vimeshwar face criminal cases. Others include Shakuni Choudhary (Tarapur), Iliyas Hussain (Dehri).
BJP has fielded Amrendra Pratap Singh from Ara and Nityanand Rai from Hajipur and Renu Devi from Bettiah. Though RJD Secretary General Ramkripal Yadav accuses
the ruling NDA of "criminalising" of politics, JD(U) spokesperson Shivanand Tiwari claims that there is nothing unusual in fielding such candidates.
"We can`t call somebody tainted if trial is pending in court," he said.
Premchandra Mishra, state Congress media cell chief, however, contends that there was none with criminal antecedents in the list of candidates announced by the party.
The affidavits belie the claim. Anirudh Prasad alias Sadhu Yadav, brother-in-law of the RJD chief, having a criminal background, is contesting on a Congress ticket from
Babloo Dev, also facing serious criminal charges, is the party`s candidate from Kesaria.
Another Congress candidate Amit Kumar was arrested in Sitamarhi after filing his nomination in a case under the arms act.
Other Congress candidates with criminal background are Tarkeshwar Singh (Maharajganj) and Shamim Akhtar (Valmikinagar). Each face over a dozen criminal charges.
A dozen politicians, including MPs and legislators, who have been convicted and sentenced by fast track courts in Bihar after 2005, were ineligible to contest.