Do these names sound familiar? Mohammed Taslimuddin (66), Mukhtar Ansari (48), Atiq Ahmed (46), Surendra Yadav (51).
They are all criminal-politicians from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh. They have one more feature in common. All of them contested the recent Lok Sabha poll. And lost.
The number of criminal MPs in the new Lok Sabha may have marginally increased from 128 in the last one to 150 this time. But Bihar astonishingly has bucked the trend. Every single don who contested has been defeated.
Even those like Prabhu-nath Singh (56) and Munna Shukla (38), who were candidates of the Janata Dal (U) that swept the polls, lost.
Three of the most dreaded goons, restrained by the Supreme Court from contesting, had their wives in the fray — Mohammed Shahabuddin’s wife Hina Shahab, Suraj Bhan Singh’s wife Veena Singh and Pappu Yadav’s wife Ranjeet Ranjan. All were defeated.
“The Nitish government’s crackdown on criminals has emboldened people to reject them in the polls as well,” said Raghunandan Sharma, sociology professor, Patna University.
In UP, the picture is mixed: a few dons like Ramakant Yadav have pulled through. But others — Mukhtar Ansari, Atiq Ahmed, Aruna Shankar Shukla and Rizwan Zaheer — have bitten the dust.