PATNA: The opposition RJD has made JD(U) candidate Ajay Singh’s background as the election issue in the byelection to Daraundha assembly seat in Siwan district. RJD has distributed over 5,000 pamphlets in the constituency to highlight the issue after party’s national vice-president Shivanand Tiwari questioned the background of Ajay, who is facing at least 30 criminal cases of serious nature. RJD has fielded Umesh Singh in the byelection to be held on October 21.
“This byelection has been thrust upon you. The election has been necessitated by Ajay’s wife Kavita Singh’s debut in the Lok Sabha. Had JD(U) fielded Ajay as its nominee in 2019 Lok Sabha election from Siwan, this byelection to this assembly seat couldn’t have taken place,” the pamphlet reads. Kavita was Daraundha MLA before his election to the Lok Sabha this year.
Tiwari said by fielding Ajay, JD(U) has also exposed CM Nitish Kumar’s hollow commitment to maintaining zero tolerance on crime and corruption. He said Ajay was not given a ticket in the 2011 byelection because of his criminal antecedents and he had to marry Kavita even in the ‘Pitripaksha’ (inauspicious month) to retain the seat his mother Jagmato Devi had represented before her death.
Reacting to RJD’s claim, JD( U) spokesperson Sanjay Singh said Ajay is a devoted party worker and there is nothing wrong in fielding him in the byelection. “So far criminal cases pending against him is concerned, Ajay had not yet been convicted by any court of law till date. His mother had won elections twice in 2005 and 2010,” he said.
Singh also described Tiwari’s statement as his frustration. “RJD is still to overcome the political debacle in 2019 general elections,” he said.
Sources said Ajay once happened to be a close associate of former RJD MP from Siwan, Mohammad Shahabuddin, who is in Tihar jail. The differences between the two bahubalis had come to the fore when Ajay’s mother Jagmato contested from Raghunathpur in 2005 assembly election against Kamruddin, the father of Shahabuddin’s close aide Ayub Khan.
Ajay’s father Maleshwar Singh was killed in the political rivalry between the two dons. Ajay had survived an attack during an election campaign in favour of his mother at Nandmora in Siwan. Shahabuddin’s shooter Riyajuddin was killed in the gunbattle.
Ajay gained notoriety in Siwan after Riyajuddin’s murder. Another RJD worker Babloo Yadav was killed by sharp shooters owing allegiance to the Ajay gang. Cases of murder, extortion and kidnapping are pending against him.