By Manoj Pathak
Ranchi: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which generally talks about morality in politics, seems to be going the opposite way in the upcoming Jharkhand Assembly elections. A lot of candidates belonging to other parties earlier have been given tickets by the party and it also includes some of those who have serious allegations of corruption against them.
Two candidates who recently joined the BJP are Bhanu Pratap Shahi, who was a minister in Madhu Koda’s government and is now the BJP candidate from Bhavnathpur Assembly constituency and is accused in a Rs 130 crore medicine scam. The second is Shashi Bhushan Mehta, who has been given the ticket from Panki and is accused of killing a teacher working in his school.
As per court sources, the chargesheet submitted by the CBI and the ED in the 2008 medicine scam has the name of Bhanu Pratap Shahi, who has been included in the first list of 52 candidates by the BJP.
According to sources, the government made a provision to purchase medicines from public sector undertakings under the National Rural Health Mission but Shahi, during the Madhu Koda government, defied the rules and purchased a huge quantity of medicines from private companies.
Shahi was arrested in this case in 2011 and is out on bail since 2013. Sources say that Shahi is an accused in a money laundering case also. The BJP leaders are also not happy with the party for giving tickets to such people. This is the reason Anant Pratap Dev, a former MLA from Bhawanthpur constituency, quit the BJP and joined the All Jharkhand Students Union (AJSU).
“I never thought that the party which used to talk about morality is now giving tickets to the tainted leaders. Everyone knows about the corruption during the Madhu Koda government. The BJP in the state won the elections on the issue of corruption only. Bhanu Pratap Shahi is facing several charges and all these things were ignored,” Dev told IANS.
Mehta, accused of killing a teacher of his school, joined the BJP in October and has been given the ticket from Panki whereas there has been no announcement on giving a ticket to the whistleblower in the fodder scam and senior BJP minister Saryu Rai.