Bihar legislator Manorama Devi’s chequered family past is unlikely to make matters better for her as she faces charges for possession of alcohol under the state’s new excise law.
An elected member of the Bihar legislative council, Devi was allegedly charged only after the department of registration and excise’s principal secretary, KK Pathak, contacted the district administration.
Police claimed they found alcohol bottles in her house when they raided it to find her son, Rocky Yadav, the main accused in the sensational Gaya road rage incident. Last week, 18-year-old Aditya Sachdeva was killed after Rocky allegedly fired at the teen’s vehicle for overtaking him.
A first information report (FIR) was filed against Devi under the new excise law which made possession, storage and/or consumption of alcohol an offence in the state since April 1 this year, when prohibition was imposed.
“I am a victim of political conspiracy. No liquor bottle has been recovered from my house. If it was so, I should have been arrested immediately. I was present during raid and cooperating. The FIR against me under excise act was lodged 24 hours later,” she said.
With Devi’s surrender, the entire family, including her husband Bindeshwari Yadav alias Bindi Yadav, nephew Teni Yadav and Rocky, is now in jail.
Bindi, a moneyed man in construction who also owns petrol pumps and real estate businesses, was arrested for harbouring his son a day after Sachdeva was killed.
Incidentally, the family, except for Bindi, surrendered to the police despite a ‘manhunt’ to nab them and the opposition’s vitriolic attack on the Nitish government over the “return of jungle raj” since Sachdeva’s death on May 7.
Sources say Manorama Devi comes from a very modest background. But her marriage to Bindi changed everything. She became the panchayat samiti chief in 2001, the year Bindi became the district board chief.
There are allegedly 11 criminal cases lodged against Bindi in Gaya’s Rampur police station area, where Aditya was killed. He was nabbed with around 4,000 cartridges for sophisticated weapons like SLRs and AK-47 in March 2011.
Police say he is also involved in road and building construction as well as the real estate and liquor business.
Fellow JD(U) member, Anuj Kumar Singh who defeated Devi to win a legislative council seat in 2009, said it was Bindi who was the real politician in the family. Alleging he had links to Maoists and state-level politics, Singh said Devi came into politics after Bindi’s political career panned.
Though Bindi joined the Rashtriya Janata Dal and fought the assembly election twice – once as an independent in 2005 and on a party ticket in 2010 – he lost on both occasions.
“He (Bindi) decided to make a backdoor entry into politics through his wife, as many musclemen-politicians do in Bihar. In 2009, he fielded Manorama Devi for the legislative council seat, but she also lost,” Singh said.
In 2015, Devi won, defeating Singh, who had switched sides to the BJP after a long stint, first with the erstwhile Samata Party and then with the JD(U). This was around the time that the grand alliance was taking shape.
“It was former Bihar assembly Speaker Uday Narayan Choudhary who was instrumental in inducting Manorama Devi to the JD(U) despite being aware of the acts of Bindi. He kept even Nitish Kumar in the dark,” alleged Singh, adding that it was only because of the chief minister that such strong action had been taken against Bindi and the family.
Sources also said Bindi was planning to push Rocky into politics since his own tainted background would impede his career. However, these plans are doubtful now.