Rajasthan: Congress gives tickets to children of key accused in ‘Bhanwari Devi murder case’

Bhanwari Devi murder case, not only imperilled the political careers of the Bishnoi and Maderna families but also put the then Chief Minister and Congress leader, Ashok Gehlot' political course under threat

In poll-bound Rajasthan, Congress has reportedly given tickets to children of a former Minister, Mahipal Maderna and Congress MLA Malkhan Singh Bishnoi, both key accused in the gruesome Bhanwari Devi murder case.

According to reports, Divya Maderna, daughter of Mahipal Maderna, will be contesting from Osiani district in Jodhpur, while Malkhan Singh’s son, Mahindra Bishnoi, will be contesting from Looni district in Jodhpur.

Ironically, Congress President Rahul Gandhi had very confidently denied giving party tickets to candidates with criminal proceedings against them.

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However, known for their double standards and a penchant for indulging in caste-based politics, the Congress party, maliciously attempting to woo the Jat and Bishnoi community, amongst whom these two contestants are apparently popular, have decided to give tickets to children of both Malkhan Singh Bishnoi and Mahipal Maderna who are in jail in the Bhanwari Devi murder case.

The kidnap and murder of 37-year-old auxiliary nurse midwife Bhanwari Devi of Jodhpur in 2011 had created a big political turmoil jeopardising the political careers of two political heavyweight families of the Jodhpur region – the Madernas and the Bishnois and by unsettling the Ashok Gehlot government back in 2011.

Bhanwari Devi Murder Case:

The government nurse Bhanwari Devi, posted at a health sub-centre, was close to both families.

According to the CBI charge sheets, Bhanwari Devi made a sex tape of her with Maderna with the help of Bishnoi’s sister, Indra. She (Indra) had a political plan – she wanted to defame Maderna with the sleaze tape and see him removed from the ministry. She thought Maderna’s removal will create space for her brother, Bishnoi, in the cabinet.

CBI said Maderna’s motive for killing Bhanwari Devi was this tape.

As for Bishnoi’s, Bhanwari Devi allegedly had illicit relations with Malkhan Singh Bishnoi, who inherited his father Ram Singh Bishnoi’s political legacy in Luni and was elected as an MLA in 2008.

The investigation later revealed that Malkhan Singh is the biological father of her youngest daughter. (Bhanwari Devi had three children). For Bishnoi, the motive behind Bhanwari Devi’s killing was the nurse’s threat to announce during a community gathering on September 7, 2011, that Malkhan Singh was her daughter’s father.

She allegedly blackmailed Malkhan Singh and demanded a promise that he would marry off their daughter with the same pomp and show he had organised the marriage of his daughter. She wanted the Luni legislator to give at least 20 kg of gold and spend at least Rs 50 lakh on their daughter’s wedding.

Three Bishnoi siblings – Malkhan, Paras Ram and Indra – and several other members of their extended family are facing charges of kidnap and murder in the murder case.

The CBI named 17 people as accused in the case, most of the Bishnois. Maderna is the only one from his family facing charges of involvement in the murder.

Six years after the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) closed the probe into Bhanwari Devi murder case filing three charge sheets, the arrest of Indra Bishnoi by the anti-terrorist squad of Rajasthan police on June 2, 2017, brought the case back into the limelight.

The Congress party had suffered a big blow in 2013 Rajasthan Assembly elections when their impulse to use this episode to gain sympathy votes had massively boomeranged at them. Malkhan’s mother and Ram Singh’s widow, 78-year-old Amri Devi contested on Congress ticket from Luni had lost.

Bhanwari Devi murder case, not only imperilled the political careers of the Bishnoi and Maderna families but also put the then Chief Minister and Congress leader, Ashok Gehlot’ political course under threat with BJP sweeping the 2013 assembly elections by bagging 162 out of 199 seats in Rajasthan.

With 2018 Rajasthan Assembly elections knocking at the door, it would be interesting to see whether Congress’ attempt to rehash the same political stunt falls in its favour or like the previous elections come home to roost.

Rajasthan goes to polls on 7th December along with Telangana and the results will be declared on 11th December.

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