Patna, March 14: Even as the top leaders of the BJP and the Janata Dal (United) are spitting venom against each other, they have one thing in common. Both parties have fielded candidates having criminal backgrounds for the upcoming general elections.
The residents of Champaran were taken aback after they came to know that the BJP has fielded Satish Dubey as the party nominee from Valmikinagar. The MLA from Narkatiaganj, Dubey, has already been chargesheeted in a bank dacoity case. Charges have been framed against him in the respective court.
Authoritative sources said Dubey’s name figured among the five accused against whom the police had submitted a chargesheet in the court. Subsequently, charges were framed in the court of Bettiah additional district and sessions judge (I) B.N. Jha against Satish Dubey, Anuj Dubey, Rajan Mishra, Pankaj Burnawal and Mohammad Jameel.
According to the chargesheet, all the five accused equipped with firearms barged into the Bagaha branch of State Bank of India on May 21, 1999, and looted Rs 2.57 lakh in cash from the teller’s counter after stabbing a security guard. An FIR (no. 515/99) was lodged with the Bagaha police station on the statement of then branch manager Satish Srivastava.
The announcement of Dubey’s name also came as a big surprise for the supporters of former bureaucrat R.S. Pandey, who had joined the party along with former Union home secretary R.K. Singh and two others in New Delhi. Pandey, a native of Dhobani village in West Champaran district, had retired as union petroleum secretary.
Senior BJP leader and leader of Opposition in the Assembly Nand Kishore Yadav, however, denied that Dubey had criminal antecedents. “I have come to know that he had been absolved of all the charges,” Nand Kishore said, while defending party leaders for fielding Dubey from Valmikinagar.
A close associate of the candidate said Dubey had first unsuccessfully contested the Assembly election from Chanpatia in 2000. However, he later joined the BJP and was fielded as a party nominee in the 2005 Assembly polls. As luck smiled on him, he won both elections that year — in February and November. He won the election from Narkatiaganj for the third time in 2010.
The ruling JD(U) too isn’t far behind when it comes to fielding candidates with a shady past. The party has fielded Vijendra Choudhary as its candidate from Muzaffarpur, which he has represented in the Assembly till 2010. However, he has been chargesheeted in a case related to horse trading during local bodies’ elections in 2006.
A complaint was lodged with the vigilance police station after a practising lawyer of Muzaffarpur, Sudhir Ojha, accused Choudhary of playing a pivotal role in the entire pisode. Pervez Akhtar, superintendent of police (vigilance bureau), was appointed the investigating officer of the case.
A source in the vigilance bureau said the investigating officer has already submitted his report to the vigilance court headed by Subodh Kumar Srivastava. Altogether 16 persons, including Choudhary, have been chargesheeted in the case.
Ojha, the complainant, said: “The charges are likely to be framed against the accused. The recommendation of the director-general (vigilance) has been sought.” Muzaffarpur will vote on May 7 and Valmikinagar on May 12.