Gangster-turned-politician Anand Mohan Singh walked out of Saharsa jail on Thursday following Bihar government’s decision to tweak the jail manual. The move has raised a lot of heated debate and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar is facing much opposition for the release of former Lok Sabha MP, who was convicted in the murder of IAS officer G Krishnaiah.
Politically, the decision is being seen as a bid to woo Rajput votes in the state. But who is Anand Mohan Singh who is being seen as the man who can influence Rajput voters.
Also read: Gangster-turned-politician Anand Mohan Singh released from Saharsa jail
Anand Mohan Singh, from North Bihar’s Saharsa district, is the son of a freedom fighter. He took part in Jaiprakash Narayan’s Sampoorna Kranti movement in the mid-1970s.
He began his political journey with Janata Dal and in 1990 — when implementation of Mandal Commission report had led to the VP Singh government’s collapse — won from Hamshihi to become an MLA.
When Chandrashekhar formed the government with outside Congress support at the Centre, Singh left the Janata Dal and joined the Chandrashekhar’s Samajwadi Janata Party. Singh lost 1991 Lok Sabha election contest to Sharad Yadav from Madhepura.
This was the time when he emerged as a leader of the upper castes and also the time when Lalu Yadav became the chief minister of Bihar and was seen as a leader of Yadavs and backward classes. The two were seen as political rivals with Singh making his anti-Lalu stand very clear.
He formed the Bihar People’s Party (BPP) and his wife Lovely Anand won Lok Sabha by-election from Vaishali in 1994.
In 1994, he and six other people, including his wife Lovely Anand, were accused in the murder of a Dalit District Magistrate (DM) from Gopalganj, G Krishnaiah, who was killed on a highway near Muzaffarpur when the funeral procession of BPP member Chhotan Shukla was being held.
Krishnaiah, a 1985-batch IAS officer of Bihar cadre, was returning to Gopalganj when his car confronted the procession of which Mohan was a part. Krishnaiah was dragged out of his car and beaten to death.
In 1996, Singh contested on a Samata Party ticket while in prison and was elected as MP from Sheohar constituency.
A local court had sentenced him to death in October 2007 but Patna High Court commuted it to life imprisonment in December, 2008, after an appeal. Singh challenged the verdict in the Supreme Court but got no relief and has been in jail since 2007.
Also read: Bihar: Ex-MP linked to IAS officer’s murder to be freed after change in Bihar Prison Manual
He was out on parole to attend the engagement of his son, Chetan Anand, an RJD MLA, in the Bihar capital when he received the news of his impending release. He is likely to join his one-time rival Lalu Singh Yadav’s Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD).
Singh’s release is being seen as the Mahagathbandhan government’s attempt to shore up support from Rajputs who are traditionally considered BJP voters and had voted for the saffron party in sizable numbers in the previous polls in the state.
(With Agency inputs)