Bajrangi’s killing may trigger political churning in east UP

The killing of Prem Prakash Singh alias Munna Bajrangi in Baghpat district is likely to change political equations in east UP as gangster-turned-politicians are now striking a deal with political parties for the Lok Sabha elections, according to political observers.

lucknow Updated: Jul 19, 2018 14:01 IST
Rajesh Kumar Singh
Rajesh Kumar Singh
Hindustan Times, Lucknow
Political churning,Munna Bajrangi,Prem Prakash Singh
People familiar with the developments leading to Bajrangi’s murder said he was in touch with BJP, SP and BSP leaders for a ticket to contest 2019 Lok Sabha election.(PTI File Photo)

The killing of Prem Prakash Singh alias Munna Bajrangi in Baghpat district is likely to change political equations in east UP as gangster-turned-politicians are now striking a deal with political parties for the Lok Sabha elections, according to political observers.

Political parties use muscle power of gangsters in their areas of influence to grab seats. Several gangsters have even donned khadi to contest Lok Sabha and Vidhan Sabha elections on the tickets of various parties.

“Political parties use muscle power of gangster-turned-politicians to grab power by hook or by crook. Bajrangi’s killing was the fallout of political rivalry between mafia elements of east UP,” social activist Sanjay Singh said.

Munna Bajrangi challenged the might of the Samajwadi Party (SP), Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) by contesting 2012 assembly election on Apna Dal ticket from Mariyahun seat in Jaunpur district.

People familiar with the developments leading to Bajrangi’s murder said he was in touch with BJP, SP and BSP leaders for a ticket to contest 2019 Lok Sabha election.

After Bajrangi’s murder, his wife Seema Singh also alleged that gangster-turned-politician Dhananjay Singh hatched a conspiracy against her husband when he came to know that Bajrangi was planning to contest Lok Sabha election from Jaunpur seat.

Dhananjay has represented Jaunpur in Lok Sabha on a BSP ticket.

Umakant Yadav, known for his terror in east UP, has recently joined the BSP and is likely to contest Lok Sabha election from Jaunpur.

“Dhananjay was hobnobbing with BJP leaders for a Lok Sabha ticket after he was expelled from the BSP. The animosity between Bajrangi and Dhananjay grew as both competed for ticket and contracts,” a police officer, who did not wish to be named, said.

Bajrangi had the backing of gangster-turned-politician and BSP MLA from Mau assembly seat Mukhtar Ansari while Dhananjay enjoyed the support of mafiosi Brijesh Singh whose nephew Sushil Singh is a BJP MLA from Saiyadraja assembly seat in Chandauli district.

Brijesh is a member of the UP legislative council. Though independent, he has been supporting the BJP on the floor of the house.

Political observer BK Dwivedi said the murder of Bajrangi might weaken the hold of Mukhtar Ansari gang. “This will make an adverse impact on the fortunes of the BSP as Ansari has influence in Mau, Azamgarh, Ghazipur, Bhadohi and Jaunpur districts,” he said.

“Brijesh Singh gang has an upper hand in the region. Both Ansari and Bajrangi are accused in the murder of BJP MLA Krishnanand Rai, who was considered close to Brijesh. A message has gone that Brijesh has avenged Rai’s killing,” he said.

Known for muscle power, BJP MP from Azamgarh Ramakant Yadav is in touch with SP leaders after his relations with BJP leaders turned sour. He is lying low after Bajrangi’s killing.

Though a pale shadow of his powerful stature, don from Gorakhpur region Hari Shankar Tiwari is also working on political realignment.

His son Vinay Shankar Tiwari had secured victory from Chillupar assembly seat on a BSP ticket in 2017 assembly election.

Tiwari’s elder son Kushal and nephew Ganesh Shankar Pandey are likely to get BSP tickets from Khalilabad and Maharajganj Lok Sabha seats.

Atiq Ahmed, who is lodged in Deoria district jail, is also in touch with SP and BSP leaders to secure tickets for himself and his brother Ashraf from his stronghold Allahabad-Phulpur region.

During 2017 assembly elections, SP president Akhilesh Yadav had stalled the entry of Atiq in the party. In the changed political scenario, Atiq has opened communication with SP and BSP leaders for a Lok Sabha ticket.

Fortunes of gangster-turned-politician Jitendra Singh Babloo has also changed in Faizabad region as he is likely to contest LS election on a BSP ticket.

SP heavyweight Vinod Kumar Singh alias Pandit Singh is likely to challenge BJP MP Braj Bhushan Singh, known for muscle power in Gonda region.

First Published: Jul 19, 2018 14:01 IST