Former MLA, murder convict and still making crime news

Vijay Kumar Shukla, better known as Munna Shukla, is not new to controversy in Bihar. The latest one comes even while the former JD(U) MLA is in jail, serving a life sentence for a minister's murder. Now, he has allegedly used the party's name while seeking to extort Rs 7 crore from Santlal Yadav, director of Patna Sahib Group of Colleges in Bhagwanpur (Vaishali).

Shukla and his brothers, Chhotan and Bhutkun, residents of Chanjahachak village in Lalganj, Vaishali, were close to Anand Mohan, a Rajput leader and former MP from the Kosi belt, and now serving a life term in connection with the 1994 murder of G Krishnaiah, the then Gopalganj district magistrate.

It was this murder that first brought Munna Shukla into public focus. His elder brother Chhotan had been murdered and a mob was protesting when they turned their anger on the district magistrate, who happened to be passing by. Munna Shukla, who was made an accused in the case, was convicted by a lower court and later acquitted by the Supreme Court.

In June 1998, RJD minister Brijbihari Prasad was shot dead at Patna's Indira Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences where he was undergoing treatment. Munna Shukla and over half a dozen others were made accused in the case. The motive was cited as revenge, with Brijbihari Prasad alegedly having been involved in the murder of Chhotan Shukla. Munna Shukla was convicted in 2009 and awarded a life sentence. Prasad's wife Rama Devi is a BJP MP from Sheohar.

Shukla had become an Independent MLA for the first time in 2000, from Lalganj constituency. This was after an unsuccessful election attempt by Chhotan Shukla's wife.

Ahead of the 2005 elections, Munna Shukla joined the LJP and won again from Lalganj. With the LJP opting not to lend its numbers to any government, President's rule was imposed, ruining Shukla's hopes of becoming a minister. He fell out with LJP chief Ramvilas Paswan. By the time fresh elections were held, he was in the JD(U). He won Lalganj a third straight time.

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