Today, the JDU denied the ticket to the sitting Dumraon MLA Dadan Pahalwan. Pahalwan was summoned to 1, Anne Marg, the Bihar CM house. He was told that he was not going to get the ticket. Anjum Ara will replace him. Pahalwan left the CM house in a huff and announced that he would fight the polls as an independent. The whole political drama took me 15 years back.
In 2005, I was SP, Buxar. Handpicked by the Election Commission of India. Dadan Pahalwan was an independent candidate from Dumraon, a subdivision of Buxar. Dumraon! Does the name sound familiar? In Chetan Bhagat’s novel Half Girl Friend, the hero comes from Dumraon. Ustad Bismillah Khan, the shehnai maestro, was born in Dumraon. I liked Dumraon because the small town had a glittering palace where Maharaja Kamal Singh sometimes invited me for tea and snacks. In his living room, I sipped tea under huge chandeliers as stuffed Royal Bengal Tigers stared at me with their glass eyes.
After Dumraon polls were over, post-poll violence erupted. Dadan Pahalwan mercilessly assaulted a political worker. Dadan Pahalwan’s original name is Dadan Singh Yadav. He was a wrestler before he entered the political arena. Raised on the pure buffalo milk, he is a formidable giant. His poor victim was in a bad shape. I rushed to Dumraon, got an FIR registered against Pahalwan and began a Bollywood style chase. I was accompanied by a BSF (Border Security Force) company, stationed in Dumraon on election duty. Dadan Pahalwan somehow escaped. He donned a burqa and fled to Buxar town. There he reached the court, running at full speed. As per the law, cops can’t make an arrest inside court premises. Panting and puffing, Dadan Pahalwan surrendered before the CJM, even before the FIR copy reached the court from the police station! He was sent to the Buxar Central Jail. (By the way, the Buxar Jail supplies hanging ropes all over India!). A few days later, counting of votes took place and Dadan Pahalwan won by a comfortable margin. Bihari voters love criminals. For the mafia raj, they blame Pandit Nehru!
Dadan Pahalwan was all set to join the Nitish Kumar Cabinet. He started to threaten the jailer saying he would soon become the “kara mantri” (Jail Minister). The poor jailer was understandably nervous. Unlike Asrani in Sholay, he was not a jailer from the British era. One of his prisoners was going to become a Minister in charge of prisons. But there was a hitch. Section 307 of the IPC (an attempt to murder) was there in the FIR against Dadan Pahalwan. And getting the bail was an uphill task for the incarcerated MLA.
Even a nalayak Chief Minister like Nitish Kumar’s hands were tied. He couldn’t induct a jail-bird in his Cabinet. Then, Dadan Pahalwan made another move. He sent a woman journalist from Patna to my office. The lady, all jewelry and perfume, requested me to drop the Section 307 in my supervision report. She assured me that on getting bail, Pahalwanji would be made a Minister. Then Pahalwanji would get me the posting of my choice. I bluntly told the lady to get lost. I told her that I had not become an IPS officer to make a criminal a Minister! The lady left my office, fuming with rage.
Dadan Pahalwan spent months in the jail till he got the regular bail. His dreams of becoming a Minister came crashing down. Now, the lady has shifted to New Delhi. She manages properties of a mafia don from Bihar. She has also become a globe-trotter, traveling from Iceland to New Zealand.
Mafia and media always go hand in hand!