Bihar polls 2020: JD(U) ticket to ex-minister Manju Verma sparks controversy

Patna: The ruling JD(U) has landed into a controversy by fielding former social welfare minister Manju Verma from Cheria-Bariyarpur Assembly constituency of Begusarai district.

Verma, who was the state's social welfare minister till a few years ago, had to step down in disgrace when it was alleged that her husband had close ties with Brajesh Thakur, the prime accused in the Muzaffarpur shelter home sex scandal surfaced in July 2018.

Call data records revealed her husband Chandrasekhar Verma and Brajesh Thakur spoke to each other more than 17 times between January and May 2018. While Thakur was arrested along with others in June 2018, Verma had gone into hiding, causing embarrassment for the JD(U)-BJP government in Bihar.

The former minister was also arrested under the arms act case for the illegal procession of ammunition in November 2018. She was later suspended her from the party.

Muzaffarpur shelter incident was perhaps the first case in the state where 35 minor girls were physically and sexually abused.

Verma is among the 22 women candidates being fielded by the JD(U).

JD(U) leaders in Patna said that the party has fielded around 20 per cent women candidates for this year’s Assembly elections.

While the JD(U) and BJP remained tight-lipped over the development, sources said that the Opposition RJD may use it against the NDA during their poll campaign.

Assembly elections in Bihar for 243 seats are to be held in three phases, beginning October 28, and results will be declared on November 10.

Besides, quite a few candidates happen to be wives of those with criminal backgrounds, whom the party may stand accused of trying to accommodate while appearing to maintain a distance.

One such candidate is Manorama Devi — a sitting MLC from Gaya district — whose late husband Bindeshwari Prasad Yadav was a local muscleman. Her son's involvement in a road rage case four years ago had caused the JD(U) to suspend her from the party. She is now the party's official candidate from Sherghati in Gaya.



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