New Delhi: The induction of murder accused JMM leader Shashi Bhushan Mehta into the BJP launched high-voltage drama at the BJP headquarters in Ranchi on October 4.
Mehta is facing trial in connection with the murder of Suchitra Mehta who was a warden at the school where the now former JMM leader was the director. He is currently out on bail.
A scuffle erupted, the Times of India reported, when Mishra’s family members “stormed the dais”.
Mishra’s eldest son, Abhishek, told the Times of India, “We want justice. BJP is the ruling party in the state and at the Centre, We urge party leaders to refrain from inducting a tainted leader who has been accused of my mother’s murder. That too at a juncture when the final judgment in the case is to take place soon.”
Sabrang India reported Abhishek as saying: “My aunt Lalita was also protesting with me. Just then some party workers came and snatched the placard out of her hands, tore it and beat her black and blue. All during this time, the BJP politicians and the police, both, just stood like mute bystanders.”
According to the Daily Pioneer, State Congress Committee spokesperson Alok Dubey said that “by inducting a murder accused in party fold, the BJP has shown its real character”.
Dubey said, “BJP, which calls itself as party with the difference has become the shelter home for sexual exploiter, coal mafias and anti-social elements. The BJP had earlier inducted Dhullu Mahto, Shashi Bhushan Mehta and Manager Rai.”
Dubey said, “The family members of Mishra are traditionally BJP supporters. Suchitra’s two sons Abhishek and Ashutosh were staging a peaceful protest against the induction of Mehta in BJP fold.”
JVM (P) leader Khalid Khalil said, “The attack on Suchitra Mishra’s family members, who were seeking justice shows the real character of BJP. The party talks of high moral principles stand exposed today.”
Mehta is hardly the first murder accused to have joined the ranks of the BJP, which only just recently expelled Kuldeep Singh Sengar, the leader who stands accused in the Unnao rape case.
Nearly half of the newly-elected Lok Sabha members have criminal charges against them, a 26% increase as compared to 2014, the Association of Democratic Reforms (ADR) had said in May 2019.
The BJP has 116 MPs or 39% of its winning candidates with criminal cases, followed by 29 MPs (57%) from the Congress, 13 (81%) from the JDU, 10 (43%) from the DMK and nine (41%) from the TMC, ADR had said.
In 2014, ADR had analysed the self-sworn affidavits of 542 of 543 winners in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections and found that BJP led the chart with as many as 98 winning candidates (35%) out of total 282, who back then were facing criminal charges.
The study also found that a candidate with a criminal background was almost twice more likely to win than a candidate with no criminal background. The winning chances of a candidate with criminal background were 13%, while those of a candidate with no criminal background were 5%.
(With inputs from PTI)