Business As Usual

Business As Usual

A Delhi court may recently have sentenced MLA Mukhtar Ahmed Ansari to 10 years in jail, and fined him Rs five lakhs, but the mere presence a criminal in the assembly or parliament no longer raises any eye-brows in UP.

A Delhi court may recently have sentenced MLA Mukhtar Ahmed Ansari to 10 years in jail, and fined him Rs five lakhs, but  the mere presence a criminal in the assembly or parliament no longer raises any eye-brows in UP. The malaise has been spreading relentlessly. The last assembly elections saw as many as 206 MLAs elected who had the police investigating them for some crime or the other.

Out of the 14 Rashtriya Lok Dal MLAs, 7 have criminal cases against them. Union agriculture minister Ajit Singh’s blue-eyed boy Omvesh has as many as 15 cases against him, though Omvesh blames it on police hostility. One Babulal, charged under the NSA, too, was helped by Ajit Singh to reach the state assembly in 1993. Other RLD MLAs with cases against them include Pratap Chaudhary, Rajpal, Sompal, Virendra Singh and Tejpal.

Akhilesh Singh, Mayawati’s savior these days, joined politics via Congress. He is charged with murder, kidnapping and other serious crimes in as many as 30 separate cases. The Congress threw Akhilesh Singh out on November 11 last year, but it was not enough to wipe its slate clean. Pradeep Mathur, who won on Congress ticket, has 4 cases while Virendra Singh Bundela has 13 cases, including kidnapping, against him. Kazim Ali of Congress is also on the list of tainted MLAs.

As many as 44 out of the 88 BJP MLAs have criminal cases against them. There are 20 cases against Ram Prasad Chaudhary, 12 against Pooran Singh Bundela, 11 against Ghanshyam Shukla, 16 against Badshah Singh, 8 against Ajay Ray and 5 against Moti Singh. Udaybhan Karviya is also on this list. Agriculture minister Hukum Singh has also been implicated in a kidnapping case. The BJP also gets the credit for sending ‘musclemen’ Brijbhushan Singh, Dharmadutt Sharma, Ramsevak Singh, Updesh Singh Chauhan, Sushil Chauhan and Pappu Rana to the assembly. The matters came to such a sorry pass in the last coalition that the Special Task Force (STF) was found complaining about 11 ministers in the Kalyan Singh government who it alleged were close to mafia don Sriprakash Shukla.

The BSP is not far behind. According to police records, 46 out of 99 BSP MLAs have criminal tendencies. Rambhual Nishad has 16 cases against him while Anis Ahmed Ansari has 10.  Amarmani Tripathi, who got into the assembly by jumping into the BSP camp, was expelled from an earlier government for involvement in a kidnapping scandal and has 26 cases against him, including murder and kidnapping. Jagdish Narayan Ray’s name also figures on the ‘Musclemen MLA’  list. Other ‘musclemen’ who figure on the BSP list include Udaybhan, Muhammad Shafeek, Madan Singh, Rizwan Zahir, Pawan Pandey, Nafees Ansari, Baham Singh Kurthal, Fateh Bahadur Rawat and Dhuram Chaudhary . Mayawati has taken it upon herself to make public the criminal records of rebel BSP MLA Jaiprakash Yadav.

Loktantrik Congress has only two MLAs. One of them, Harishankar Tiwari is involved in 29 serious cases, though the courts have given him a clean -chit in all the cases. Out of the three MLAs from Apna Dal, heavy-weight Atik Ahmed takes the cake with 100 cases filed in different police stations — ranging from murder, embezzlement of state funds to cases under the gangster act.

Not to suggest that the Samajwadi Party lags behind. Way back in 1991, it gave one Anna, accused in 27 cases, a party ticket. This is the election when Surajbhan and Kannan also tried their luck. Mitrasen Yadav, who has reached both the state assembly and the parliament on SP and left tickets, was sentenced to life imprisonment in a murder trial but was provided a presidential pardon under political pressure. SP also enjoys the dubious distinction of getting Phoolan Devi, the accused in Behmai massacre, pardoned and of getting  her elected to Lok Sabha on its ticket. Along with Ramakant Yadav and Bhalchand Yadav, the adventures of  as many as 83 out of its 142 MLAs are well known throughout the state. MLA Durgaprasad Yadav has 18 cases of murder and looting filed against him, whereas Omprakash Gupta has ‘only’ 70.

As for independents MLAs, who hasn’t heard the tales of terror involving Madan Bhaiya, Raja Bhaiya, Jitendra Jayaswal, Dhananjay Singh, Mukhtar Ansari and Vijay Singh? But perhaps the UP story is not complete without a mention of parliamentarian DP Yadav who is in the news every other day along with his son Vishal Yadav.


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