Bihar panchayat poll winners allege threat from criminals

Panchayat elections in Bihar are over, but the newly elected representatives, who constitute the electorate for the impending elections for block pramukh and other posts, are a frightened lot after the killing of 13 of them, including five mukhiyas (panchayat heads)
People in a queue during panchayat election in Bihar. (HT photo)
People in a queue during panchayat election in Bihar. (HT photo)
Updated on Dec 25, 2021 08:31 PM IST
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By, Patna

Panchayat elections in Bihar are over, but the newly elected representatives, who constitute the electorate for the impending elections for block pramukh and other posts, are a frightened lot after the killing of 13 of them, including five mukhiyas (panchayat heads).

The election for chairman for district boards and deputy chairmen is scheduled from December 27 to January 3, while the election for deputy mukhiya and deputy sarpanch is scheduled from December 24 to 31. The election for panchayat samiti chief and deputy chief will be held from December 27 to January 3.

Several elected representatives have complained of threat from notorious elements to vote for their favourite candidates in these elections.

For instance, in Khusrupur block in rural Patna, newly elected members of panchayat samiti have alleged life threat from a history sheeter Sanjay Yadav, whose wife Anju Devi has been elected to the panchayat samiti from Sukerbeg-Chak panchayat.

In letters sent to top police officers and the Governor, they have said, “Yadav has issued a diktat that all should vote for his wife in the block chief’s election, else they will be shot. He is going door-to-door, issuing threats. Many panchayat samiti members have left their homes out of fear. Yadav faces nearly 30-40 cases and is absconding on record,” the letter says.

One of the members, Naresh Ravidas of Hardas Bigha, alleged that the local police of Khusrupur was in collusion with Yadav and no effort was being made to arrest him.

“History sheeters have got their wives or kin elected to control things by proxy. They want their representation in block and district level committees, which happens through election from among the elected representatives. This is causing more unrest,” said a mukhiya, who did not want to be quoted.

Dinesh Prasad, former mukhiya of Kasimchak panchayat in Danapur, who lost this time, said that increase in fund allocation to the panchayati raj institutions had made the stakes higher. “Be it the appointment of teachers, purchase of solar lights, payment under Mahatma Gandhi Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme, rural development work, job cards or food grain distribution or any other activities, PRIs have been under scanner over corruption charges due to higher flow of funds,” he said.

Panchayati raj minister Samrat Choudhary said he has already directed the additional chief secretary of his department to provide security to any elected representative if he or she feels any threat. “With over 90% new members winning this time, it is really a big challenge for the administration to ensure their security,” he said.

Additional director general of police (headquarters) Jitendra Singh Gangwar said ADG (law & order) Binay Kumar has written to all district police chiefs to take action.

Meanwhile, Station House Officer of Khusrupur police station, Chandra Bhanu, admitted that Sanjay Yadav is absconding and said raids are on to nab him.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Avinash, a senior correspondent, reports on crime, railways, defence and social sector, with specialisation in police, home department and other investigation agencies.

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