AcT I: tainted candidates take the floor
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They have against them charges of murder, attempt to murder, cases under Goonda Act, Gangster Act and the NSA.
Other prominent tainted candidates in the fray include Ajay Rai (Varanasi), Bal Kumar Patel (Mirzapur), Afzal Ansari (Ghazipur), Ramakant Yadav and Durga Yadav (Azamgarh) and Yogi Adityanath (Gorakhpur).
Mukhtar Ansari (Varanasi/BSP)
Independent MLA from Ghazipur, at present in jail in connection with the murder of former BJP legislator Krishnanand Rai. Faces 28 cases, including 12 of murder. Rai and his seven supporters were murdered in broad daylight on November 29, 2005, in Bhanwarkol Ghazipur. Following a directive by the Allahabad High Court, the case was transferred to CBI. The agency had submitted the chargesheet and the case is pending in court.
Bal Kumar Patel (Mirzapur/SP)
Brother of slain dacoit Shiv Kumar Patel alias Dadua. Has cases pending for over two decades. Faces charges under Arms Act and Gangster Act, accused in murder cases as well. "I have been acquitted in the old cases. This government has booked me in eight cases," said Patel.
Afzal Ansari (Ghazipur/BSP)
SP parliamentarian from Ghazipur, recently released from the jail. He was accused with his brother Mukhtar Ansari in the Krishnanand Rai murder case.
Ajay Rai (Varanasi/SP)
The three-time BJP legialator from Kolasla constituency in Varanasi joined the SP when the BJP decided to field Murli Manohar Joshi. Rai is a member of notorious criminal Brijesh Singh's gang. He is a history-sheeter of the Chetganj police station. He joined Brijesh after his elder brother Awadhesh Rai was shot dead in Varanasi in 1994, allegedly by Mukhtar Ansari and his men. Ajay Rai's name was also figured in the attack on former deputy mayor Anil Singh in 1990. "I have been acquitted in the Anil Singh case. No case is pending against me," said Rai.
Durga Prasad Yadav (Azamgarh/SP)
The six-time legislator is allegedly involved in 14 cases, involving the murder of four persons at a hospital in Azamgarh. Lawyer Shiv Dhani Singh, who represented the victim, said: "Both victim and accused made a settlement through compromise." Durga Prasad said: "All cases were lodged on family feud and we have compromised now."
Ramakant Yadav (Azamgarh/BJP)
Faces nearly 15 criminal cases, including those under Gangster Act and Goonda Act. Accused of attack on Chief Minister Mayawati at the state guesthouse in 1995. He has a historysheet at the Deedarganj police station in Azamgarh. Cases against him are lodged at various police stations of Jaunpur and Gorakhpur.
Yogi Adityanath (Gorakhpur/BJP)
Firebrand BJP leader Yogi Adityanath is facing a murder case. In 1999, policeman Satya Prakash Yadav was shot dead during cross-firing at Paniyar in Maharajganj. Though the CB-CID has filed the final report in the court giving him a clean chit, an application for reinvestigation is pending with the court. "Except this case, no other case is pending in the court against Yogi Adityanath," said his lawyer Ajeet Srivastava.
Shyam Narain Tiwari (Maharajganj/ SP)
Amarmani Tripathi's uncle Shyam Narain Tiwari was sentenced to death in a murder case in 1968. The Supreme Court converted this into life imprisonment. A few years later, he was pardoned by the President. Three more cases were lodged against him, of which two were withdrawn and final report was filed in one case.