It is evident that muscle power dominates the politics in Bihar. The state has seen less development and more Bahubali leaders in the last few decades. For years, the soil of Bihar remained red because of the domineering politics in the state. The politics of Bihar has provided shelter to countless Bahubalis. They covered their wrongdoings and became Bahubali leaders. For many years, Bahubali leaders have dominated the politics in Bihar.
Their reputation spoke for themselves, and several political parties openly accepted them as their part as they project themselves as ‘messiahs’ of one or the other caste. The names of Bahubali leaders like Anant Singh, Surajbhan Singh, Sunil Pandey, and Rama Singh still run down a shiver in the spine of the people of Bihar.
The story of Babubali leader and former MP Anand Mohan Singh
One of the most notorious Bahubali leaders of Bihar is Anand Mohan Singh, who is currently serving a life sentence in jail. He became the first politician who was sentenced to death. However, his punishment was reduced to life imprisonment. Singh was born in the village of Pachgachia in Saharsa district of Bihar. The area is often termed as the land of the Kosi river. His grandfather Ram Bahadur Singh was a freedom fighter.
Singh was first introduced to politics in 1974 during Loknayak Jayaprakash Narayan’s ‘Sampurna Kranti’ movement. He joined the movement and left his college. During the time of the emergency, he spent two years in jail. It is believed that his political career started at the age of 17. His political mentor was Parameshwar Kunwar, who was a well-known freedom fighter and fierce socialist leader.
In Bihar, politics runs on caste equations and muscle power. Anand Mohan took advantage of the scenario and became the leader of the Rajput community. He showed black flags to then-Prime Minister Morarji Desai in 1978 when he was giving a speech.
In 1980, Anand Mohan Singh emerged as a Bahubali. In the same year, he founded the Samajwadi Kranti Sena. The main objective of his organization was to counter the rise of the lower castes. His name appeared in several criminal cases, and a reward was declared on his arrest. During that time, he contested the Lok Sabha elections but could not win. Later in 1983, he was imprisoned for three months for the first time.
Anand Mohan Singh’s entry into politics
In 1990, the Janata Dal made him a candidate for the Mahishi assembly seat. He won the election and defeated Lahtan Chaudhary of Congress by a massive difference of 62 thousand votes. As per media reports, though he was an MLA, he led a notorious communal gang that was often termed as his ‘Private Army’. His gang often attacked those who were in favor of reservation.
Singh has a long feud with Rajesh Ranjan alias 5-year Lok Sabha MP Pappu Yadav gang. During that time, the situation became civil war-like in the Kosi land. When power changed hands in the 1990s, the Rajput dominance in Bihar politics diluted to a large extent.
Formation of Bihar People’s Party
In 1990, the Mandal Commission recommended a 27 percent reservation for OBCs in government jobs. The Janata Dal supported the commission’s report that did not get along with Anand Mohan, who always opposed any form of reservation. He parted his way from JD. In 1993, he formed his own party named Bihar People’s Party. He later joined hands with Samata Party.
In 1994, his wife, Lovely Anand, contested the Vaishali Lok Sabha by-elections and won. In 1995, his name emerged as the prospect of the Chief Minister’s position opposite to Lalu Yadav. His Bihar People’s Party did better in elections compared to Samata Party. However, Anand Mohan contested from three seats and got deafened on all.
In the 1996 general elections, he contested from Shivhar Lok Sabha seat. At that time, he was in jail but won the election. In 1998, he again contested the Lok Sabha elections and won. At that time, he was Rashtriya Janata Party’s candidate that had the support of Rashtriya Janata Dal.
In 1999, Anand Mohan decided to cut cords with Lalu Yadav’s RJD and joined hands with Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). However, he got defeated by Anwarul Haque of RJD. After that, Anand Mohan’s BPP joined hands with the Congress party to contest election from Shivhar, but things did not turn well for him as Congress did not give attention to him.
Life imprisonment for the murder of Dalit IAS
Anand Mohan Singh was accused in several cases. In most of them, either the cases were dropped, or he was acquitted. In 1994, his name appeared in an issue that not only shook Bihar but the whole country. On 5th December 1994, IAS officer G Krishnaiah was first beaten by a mob and then shot dead. He was posted as District Magistrate of Gopalganj. Anand Mohan instigated the mob to attack 35-year-old Krishnaiah.
Six people, including Anand and his wife, Lovely, were charged in the case. In 2007, the Patna High Court convicted Anand Mohan and sentenced him to death. This was the first time a politician was given the death penalty. His sentence was later reduced to life imprisonment in 2008. In 2012, Anand Singh appealed in Supreme Court to reduce the sentence, but his plea was rejected.
In 2009, during a case hearing of Chattisgarh, the Supreme Court ruled that if someone is sentenced to life imprisonment, the convict must undergo a minimum of 14-years of imprisonment. The court also stated that after completion of 14-years, the convict would not be released automatically. It is believed that Anand Mohan may have to stay away from public life for many years to come.
Stronghold on Bihar from jail
Anand Mohan and Lovely Mohan got married in 1991. While being in jail, Anand managed to get his wife ticket for assembly elections from the Congress party in 2010 and a Lok Sabha ticket from Samajwadi Party in 2014. Though as per the Supreme Court’s orders, convicted criminals cannot contest elections, Anand Mohan’s dominance in Bihar is still visible.
Anand Mohan’s wife to contest election as RJD candidate from Saharsa
The political legacy of Babubali leaders in Bihar is being passed to their wives and sons. Lovely Anand is all set to contest assembly elections from Saharsa on RJD’s ticket. Earlier, it was reported that she wanted to contest election from Anand’s Saupaul seat, but Congress is fielding former MP Ranjit Ranjan from that seat. Ranjit Ranjan is the wife of five-time MP and notorious Babubali leader Pappu Yadav.
Chetan Anand, son of Anand Mohan, is contesting election from Shivhar seat on RJD’s ticket. Chetan and Lovely joined RJD in September. The rivalry between Anand Mohan and Pappu Yadav is well-known in Bihar. Because of their conflict, there had been a state of panic in the Kosi area for a very long time. It will be interesting to see whose wife gets the upper hand in the region.
The political career of Lovely Anand
Lovely made her political debut with her husband’s party BPP. She defeated Kishori Sinha, wife of former Chief Minister Satyendra Narayan Sinha, in the by-election held in the Vaishali parliamentary seat in 1994. She kept shifting her affiliation with the political parties, just like her husband. She became an MP for the first time when she won by-elections in 1994. BPP, Congress, SP, HAM, and Nitish Kumar have contested elections together in the past. This time, she will be contesting the election from the RJD ticket.
The legendary face of Bihar – Lovely Anand
There was a time when Lovely was one of the most dominating leaders in Shivhar. When Anand formed his own party, people gathered in large numbers to listen to her speeches during rallies. Even veterans like Lalu Yadav had failed to put a dent in Lovely Anand’s stature in the 1995 elections. In 2015, it was expected that Shivhar would not let Anands down.
Defeat by mere 461 votes
The results were completely different from what people had expected. Saifudeen became the unexpected winner of the election, with 44,576 votes in his kitty compared to 44,115 votes that Lovely Anand got. She lost the election by mere 461 votes in the area where her family was believed to have a stronghold in elections. There was an independent candidate who got 22 thousand votes during the 2015 elections.
Future of Anand Mohan’s political legacy in Bihar
Several questions are revolving around Anand Mohan’s relevance in Bihar Politics. Some believe that he might have lost his hold in the region. It is still unclear if all doors to victory have closed or his family may still get sympathy in his community. The answer to this confusion is both yes and no. His conviction has ended his political career and he won’t be able to contest elections for a very long time.
It is understandable that in a brutal profession like politics, sympathy and loyalty do not live long for a single leader. However, Bahubali leaders still have a brand value in Bihar. The caste plays a vital role in Bihar’s heterogeneous and factional society, which can help his wife gain some votes. If he sees a career in politics in the future, he would be well aware of the fact that his role will remain of a pawn.
He can only stir feelings of his sympathizers and gain some votes in exchange for some tears. There is a saying, “the mill of justice grinds slowly but it often grinds very finely,” and it seems appropriate in Anand Mohan’s case.