Former Union Home Secretary and BJP Lok Sabha MP from Ara in Bihar Raj Kumar Singh, widely respected for his financial and intellectual integrity, has been nudging the party to follow the politically correct path since the days Sushma and Vasundhara came under attack for their connections with Lalit Modi. His latest straight remark – that the party sold some of the tickets to criminals for consideration of money – has hit where it hurts. While party bigwigs were quick to deny Singh’s remark, the fact remains that the Tarari assembly constituency falling under Singh’s Parliamentary constituency is conceded by the BJP to Ram Vilas Paswan’s LJP, which, in turn, is said to have given the seat to the wife of dreaded criminal Sunil Pandey. It is common among Bihar politicians to set up their wives as proxies in elections. Pandey runs a power criminal syndicate engaged in protection, extortion and public contract rackets. If this were not enough, he is widely seen as the man behind the murder two years ago of highly influential and respected leader of Ranbir Sena Brahameshwar Mukhia. May it be recalled that within hours of Mukhia’s assassination, Singh, then Union Home Secretary, rushed to the spot along with then Bihar DGP Abhayanand to announce that the perpetrators would be brought to justice. This simple but powerful gesture – powerful because it is rare for a Union Home Secretary to rush to the murder spot of an individual – ensured Singh’s easy victory in the 2014 parliamentary election. And Singh knows that the cost of keeping quiet, when Pandey is trying to get into the NDA alliance through LJP, will be loss of confidence of a huge and dependable voters’ base.