- Gopal Narayan Singh picked as BJP's Bihar choice for Rajya Sabha
- Has 28 criminal cases, is 72, lost 8 elections in a row
- Am close to RSS, party had to reward me, he said
Yet, Mr Singh, 72, is the man the BJP has picked as its candidate for the Rajya Sabha. Bihar will elect five members unopposed to the Upper House on Friday. Mr Singh has beaten Sushil Kumar Modi, the top leader of the BJP in the state, as the party's choice.
Mr Singh says it is the backing of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh or RSS, the ideological mentor of the BJP, that has worked in his favour.
"I am a Sangh worker and because of my services, the party and the Sangh decided to reward me with Rajya Sabha nomination," he said on Tuesday after filing his nomination in Patna.
By choosing Mr Singh, the BJP has done a solid for the ruling Janata Dal United or JDU, which has been attacked over a rise in audacious crimes in Bihar. "Is this new chal (style of functioning), charitra (character) and chehra (face) of the party?" asked Sanjay Singh, a spokesman for the party of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.
Mr Singh is unruffled. "When the BJP is satisfied, why is the JD(U) suffering from heartburn?" he asked.
Despite losing his bid for the Rajya Sabha seat, Mr Modi said he backs Mr Singh, and that cases against politicians in Bihar are often rooted in political vendetta, not fact.
Sources in the BJP say that Mr Modi was overlooked because of the party's poor performance in last year's election, which was won by the JDU and its ally, Lalu Yadav.