Amarmani Tripathi Release: How Crime Pays in Uttar Pradesh Politics

He was released from prison for having murdered Madhumita Shukla, his pregnant mistress carrying his unborn child.

4 min read
Hindi Female

The amazing and somewhat macabre tale of former Uttar Pradesh minister Amarmani Tripathi and his wife, who are once again in the news after being mysteriously released from a prison life term for having his pregnant mistress carrying his unborn child murdered in cold blood by hired assassins two decades ago, is a telling reminder of the hideous underbelly of Uttar Pradesh politics.

As one of the country’s most sensational murder cases the brutal killing of young Lucknow poetess Madhumita Shukla because she refused to abort her child after being impregnated by Tripathi and the failed political coverup has been discussed again and again over the past many years.

It has even inspired a sex and political sleaze television serial called Love Kills: Madhumita Shukla Hatyakand.


Wooed by Leaders Cutting Across Ideology and Caste

The Tripathi horror show added a fresh chapter a few years ago when Tripathi junior, Amanmani, turned out to be a chip of the old block and was charged by the CBI with murdering his own wife, Sara. Now the bizarre saga of this political gangland family has taken a new twist with the son, out on bail as the murder case against him drags on, busy organising a grand celebration of his parent’s premature release in the Tripathi home village Nautanwa in Eastern Uttar Pradesh.

To make this triumph of crime over justice even more brazen rumours are flying fast and thick across Uttar Pradesh that the Tripathi family known for their muscle, wealth and influence particularly over the Brahmin community in their home region as the new Brahmin mascot of the BJP for the coming crucial 2024 Lok Sabha polls.

Political and media circles in Uttar Pradesh are already abuzz about how the release of the Tripathis was a master stroke by state Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath to woo Brahmins who are reportedly unhappy with him for favouring his own Thakur community.

“The Chief Minister is our guardian and guide. I regularly meet him and seek his blessings. Our relationship is not political, but like family,” declared Amanmani Tripathi when asked by the media whether Yogi Aditiyanath had helped his parents secure their premature release. Despite the murder charge against him Tripathi junior has often been seen at the side of the Chief Minister although till last year he was a member of the BSP. 

There is no better illustration of the convoluted Byzantine corridors of Uttar Pradesh politics than the twisted chronicle of the Tripathi family. Their predilection for crime and violence appears to be inextricably linked with their political promiscuity.

Wooed by leaders cutting across ideology and caste, they have managed to perambulate over the years through a mind-boggling variety of parties. Indeed, both father and son regardless of their image as grotesque monsters associated with murders including of their own women are living examples of how crime pays in the politics of India’s most populous state. 


Father-son Duo's Political Career

Amarmani Tripathi for instance started out his political career in the 1980s contesting elections with the support of the Communist Party of India before moving on to the Congress from which he defected to the splinter Loktantric Congress in the mid-1990s to become a minister under three successive BJP led coalition governments headed by Kalyan Singh, Ram Prakash Gupta and Rajnath Singh.

He then joined the BSP in 2002 to become a minister in Mayawati’s government supported by the BJP when he was jailed after being found guilty along with his wife in the Madhumita Shukla murder case and was expelled from the party. Undaunted, he joined the Samajwadi Party winning his seat in the 2007 polls from behind bars with his son Amanmani leading the campaign.   

Not surprisingly, the son has followed his father’s footsteps not just in crime and scandal but in politics as well.

When the Samajwadi Party refused to give Amanmani a ticket for the 2017 state assembly polls after he was charged by the CBI for murdering his wife, he left the party and won as an Independent reportedly with the blessings of Yogi Adityanath and BJP who swept the polls.

Five years later after failing to secure a ticket from the BJP for the state assembly polls last year the Tripathi scion promptly joined the BSP and although he lost like most of Behenji’s candidates in the polls his political connections with the Yogi who swept Uttar Pradesh has kept him in business.

Over the past year he has been seen increasingly in the company of the Chief Minister and some months ago was thrown out of the BSP for anti-party activities. 


Unholy Nexus Between Criminals and Politicians

The way parties and leaders across the political spectrum in Uttar Pradesh have allowed a family of what is known in local parlance as Bahubalis to prosper and thrive despite murder convictions and charges underline the farcical nature of the democratic process in the state.

It is a place where the underworld of gangsters and crime syndicates operate very much overground either on behalf of political leaders and parties or as politicians themselves.

Significantly, this unholy nexus between criminals and politicians operates in the guise of party and caste affiliations that the bahubalis constantly twist and turn to manipulate the system to their advantage, shamelessly helped by the entire political class for their own benefit.

This has a long history stretching back to over half a century featuring a gallery of rogues like Hari Shankar Tiwari, once a mentor of Tripathi senior, Virendra Shahi, Munna Bajrangi, Vikas Dubey and Mukhtar Ansari to name just a few of the most notorious. 

Yet the seeming ease with which these Bahubali crime lords have trampled on politics, bureaucracy, and even the judicial system in Uttar Pradesh which is sadly also replicated in large parts of Bihar, cannot but be possible without the lack of public outrage and a tame acceptance by the people themselves of the status quo even though the situation gets uglier by the day.

It is as if the vast population of these two most socially and economically backward states is resigned to be an area of darkness.   

(The writer is a Delhi-based senior journalist and the author of ‘Behenji: A Political Biography of Mayawati’. This is an opinion piece. The views expressed above are the author’s own. The Quint neither endorses nor is responsible for the same.)

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Topics:  Uttar Pradesh 

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