The Bihar polls are fast approaching, and a very interesting candidate is in the fray.
Brajesh Kumar Pandey, who is the brother of NDTV anchor Ravish Kumar, will fight the polls from the Govindganj assembly constituency of Purvi Champaran district on a Congress ticket.
Ravish Kumar’s brother Brajesh Kumar Pandey
Not many know that NDTV’s Ravish Kumar has a brother, but Brajesh Kumar Pandey is an active Congress leader. In 2015, he had fought the Bihar polls on a Congress ticket, but had lost to his BJP opponent by 28,000 votes. He had risen to become the Vice President of the Bihar Congress by 2017, but had then been embroiled in a scandal.
A young woman had accused Brajesh Kumar Pandey of being involved in a sex racket, and said that he threatened her. She has alleged that one Nikhil Priyadarshi cheated her in the name of marriage and blackmailed her along with his brother and Ravish’s brother Brajesh (Kumar) Pandey.
Ravish Kumar’s brother Brajesh Kumar Pandey was then charged under the stringent law on sexual crimes against children – the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act. He was also charged under Sections 354 and 376 of the IPC, and other Sections of the SC/ST Act.
At that point, he had resigned as Bihar Congress Vice President. “I do not want that the party suffers in any manner because of me,” he’d then said.
The case had taken a strange turn after the woman had moved a compromise petition before the special judge hearing the case, praying that she was ready to marry the accused Nikhil. The petition, which had the signature of the ‘victim’, said that since the family elders from both sides had suggested that a compromise be reached between the two families, she was making a fresh appeal to start life afresh.
Conflict of interest?
Over the years, both NDTV and Ravish Kumar have been criticized for appearing to support the Congress, while being rabidly against the BJP. With Ravish’s own brother being a member of the Congress party and fighting polls, a responsible journalist would’ve prominently disclosed his obvious conflict of interest to his audience. But Ravish has hardly ever mentioned his brother on TV, and the fact that Ravish Kumar’s brother is in active politics often comes as a surprise even to those who regularly watch his show.
More interestingly, it remains to be seen if Ravish Kumar, who often speaks of clean politics, will mention his brother’s unsavoury past on TV. Ravish will likely be covering the Bihar elections extensively in the coming weeks, and one wonders if he’s devote some time to his own brother who’s fighting the polls.