Ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Monday assured the supporters of jailed former MP Anand Mohan that he was doing his best to secure the release of the tainted Rajput leader.
In a bid to win over the upper caste voters in Bihar, Mr. Kumar’s Janata Dal (United) on Monday observed the Rashtriya Swabhiman Diwas to commemorate the death anniversary of Rajput king Maharana Pratap. Rajputs constitute 4% of the upper caste vote bank, which is 12% of the State’s electorate.
Gangster-turned-politician Mohan was convicted in the 1994 murder of the Gopalganj District Magistrate G Krishnaiah. His associate Chhotan Shukla was killed in an alleged encounter with the police following which Mohan, along with Chhotan’s brother Bhutkun, killed Krishnaiah. In 2007, he was sentenced to death, but the Supreme Court commuted it to life imprisonment. The tainted politician was elected MP from Seohar Lok Sabha seat in 1996 while being in jail. Currently lodged in Saharsa jail, the former MP has already served more than 14 years of his sentence. RJD MLA and Mohan’s son Chetan Anand had earlier pleaded with Mr. Kumar to secure his father’s release but the Chief Minister had maintained silence until now.
Addressing a function at Patna’s Miller High School Ground, Mr. Kumar was greeted by chants of Anand Mohan ko riha karo (Release Anand Mohan) by the jailed leader’s supporters sitting in the first row. The Chief Minister stopped his speech midway and said, “You better ask his wife [Lovely Anand] what I’m doing to get him out of jail. You don’t worry about him, I’m trying my level best,” he said.
Meanwhile, JD(U) MLC Sanjay Singh, who organised Monday’s function, asked Mr. Kumar to name the upcoming Film City in Nalanda district after the late Bollywood actor from Bihar, Sushant Singh Rajput.