Raja Bhaiya was a prison minister with 48 criminal cases

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Raja Bhaiya
Lucknow, March 4: He was a prisons minister with 48 cases against him and has spent considerable time in prisons under terrorist charges. He comes across as typical filmy Thakur with gun-wielding bodyguards and hold over people of his fiefdom. The forty plus year old Kunwar Raghuraj Pratap Singh alias alias Raja Bhaiya is already a five-time MLA from Kunda Assembly seat as a independent member.

Prior to his elevation as a state Minister in the Samajwadi Party ministry, Raja Bhaiya had been in prison for five years during the Mayawati regime. Raja Bhaiya's political life is closely intervened with the criminal cases. Curiously, he has 48 criminal cases pending against him and of them there are cases of attempt to murder, dacoity and abduction.

Raja Bhaiya is again in the news after his name cropped up in the killing of Kunda DSP Zia-ul-Haq. Haq's wife Praveen Azad has alleged that her husband was killed on Raja's orders. Raja had to step down from the post of UP Food and Supply Minister following the allegations.

In November 2002, Mayawati had slapped POTA (Prevention of Terrorism Act ) charges against Raja Bhaiya. But in 2003, within half an hour of Mulayam Singh Yadav taking over as the chief minister, all charges against him were dropped. However, the Supreme Court had told the government not to withdraw the POTA charges.

And this POTA case resulted in the death of a police officer. In 2007, DySP Ram Shiromani Pandey, the investigating officer in the POTA case against Raja Bhaiya, died in a road accident on the eve of his approaching the Allahabad High Court seeking action against him.

Raja Bhaiya comes from an illustrious family and is a law graduate. His grandfather Raja Bajrang Bahadur Singh was the founder vice chancellor of Pant Nagar Agriculture University and later the governor of Himachal Pradesh. But the Raja wants to be the king maker and has been notorious for his fear-laden methods to win elections.

Why Bhaiya is important?

In the fractured polity of Uttar Pradesh every seat counts and Raja Bhaiya wields considerable influence over five assembly and parliamentary constituencies in the Pratapgarh area.

In 2012, when Akhilesh Yadav took over as the Chief Minister, Raja Bhaiya became the Food and Civil Supplies ministry as well as prison department. During his political career, Raja Bhaiya was close to the Bharatiya Janata Party and its mascot Kalyan Singh.

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