Bihar: Muzaffarpur case accused spotted at Giriraj Singh's rally
Union Minister Giriraj Singh and NDA's candidate from Begusarai shared the stage with Manju Verma, a former Bihar minister and accused in Muzaffarpur shelter home scandal, on Saturday. While Singh addressed party workers, Verma sat on one of the chairs and laughed. Notably, on March 12, Patna High Court had granted bail to Verma, who was arrested under the Arms Act in connection to the case.
Backstory: The horror which shook everyone to core
Last year, TISS conducted an audit which brought to fore the rampant abuse prevailing in Muzaffarpur shelter home. Dozens of minor girls were raped, drugged, "sent" to powerful men, beaten, and even killed. The owner Brajesh Thakur was arrested and case was handed over to CBI. Thakur had close ties with Verma's husband, Chandeshwar Verma and it is alleged he violated girls too.
CBI found live cartridges from Verma's home, she surrendered
After much outcry, Verma, who first claimed innocence, resigned from the post of Social Welfare Minister in Nitish Kumar's Cabinet. Later, CBI conducted raids at her ancestral home and recovered at least 50 illegal cartridges. Verma surrendered before a local court in Begusarai in November 2018. The serious allegations on her, notwithstanding, Singh may have assumed she would be a "good campaigner".
Singh's rally makes it to news for wrong reasons
Former Bihar minister Manju Verma who is out on bail in Muzaffarpur shelter home case seen on stage during Union Minister and NDA candidate Giriraj Singh's rally in Begusarai yesterday. Verma had been arrested under arms act linked to the Muzaffarpur case pic.twitter.com/pYPWOBZDMv— ANI (@ANI) March 31, 2019
Singh claimed he was fighting "anti-nationals"
Singh, who finally entered poll arena after showing reluctance, slammed Kanhaiya Kumar, his opponent from CPI, in his speech. The 66-year-old leader claimed he was fighting anti-nationals, a tag which hasn't left Kanhaiya since his JNUSU presidency days. It is alleged Kanhaiya raised anti-India slogans. "I'm sure people of Begusarai will not only defeat them but also give them a befitting reply," he said.
Begusarai will witness a high-profile contest this time
Singh, who is famous for his controversial statements, also slammed those who sought proofs of Balakot strikes. He said such people didn't know ground reality. In all likeliness, Begusarai is headed for a three-cornered battle as Congress-JD(U) alliance may field Tanvir Hassan from there. The constituency has sizeable Bhumihar, Muslim, and Yadav vote bank. Meanwhile, Kanhaiya has also started his door-to-door campaigning.