Numbers play a crucial role in politics and every politician knows it.
Some political leaders however, have a fetish for particular numbers, especially when it comes to the registration of their vehicles and also their telephone numbers.
In most parts of the state, politicians are recognised by the registration numbers of their vehicles. The number remain the same even though the registration series changes. The colours of vehicles also remain the same.
Dhananjay Singh, a former BSP MP and the newly-appointed national secretary of JD(U), has a series of SUVs with the registration number 9777. He has various models of Fortuner, Scorpio, Safari but all have the same number and are black in colour.
Former Minister Raghuraj Pratap Singh a.k.a. Raja Bhaiyya’s convoy of top range SUVs has the registration number of 0001 and majority of his vehicles are white in colour.
BJP MP Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, on the other hand, has a penchant for the number 9000 and all his vehicles have the same number, albeit in different series.
BJP MLA Sushil Singh, who is the nephew of mafia don Brijesh Singh, prefers 0001 as the number for his cars that are black in colour.
Abhay Singh, SP MLA from Gosainganj in Ayodhya, has a fleet of SUVs with the registration number 7273. The vehicles are black in colour.
Former MLA Chandra Bhadra Singh a.k.a. Sonu Singh from Sultanpur, prefers 0001 registration number for all his vehicles that are usually white in colour.
Ajay Sipahi, who graduated from being a police constable to mafia don, chooses 7272 number for his vehicles.
Jailed don and former MLA Mukhtar Ansari’s fleet of cars bear the number 786 which is considered holy by Muslims.
For getting numbers of their choice, these political leaders have to pay substantial amount of money — Rs 5 lakhs for 0001, Rs 3 lakhs for single digit numbers preceded by 0.
Talking to IANS, one of the politicians said: “I choose my vehicle number after consulting my astrologer. Since the number is lucky for me, I do not mind paying extra money.”
Another politician admitted that having multiple vehicles with one registration number, gives then a district identity.
“When I travel in my constituency, my vehicle is my identity. People know now that this number belongs to me. Even the traffic cops know my number and this is an additional benefit,” he said.
A senior official in the Transport Department said that it was routine for politicians to seek fancy number for the vehicles.
“We get requests and there is no problem since they are willing to pay the prescribed amount. In fact, some politicians even prefer to wait to buy the vehicle till the number they want is available,” he said.