Express News Service
LUCKNOW: Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Akhilesh Yadav on Saturday inducted mafia don-turned-politician Mukhtar Ansari’s brother Sigbatullah Ansari, his nephew Munna Ansari and former Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) leader Ambika Chaudhary into the party.
Mukhtar Ansari, the five-time MLA from Mau constituency, belongs to Ghazipur district in eastern UP. He is a history-sheeter at Mohammadabad police station with 52 cases pertaining to murder kidnapping, extortion registered in his name. His brother Afzal Ansari is MP for Ghazipur, while Sigbatullah Ansari is a former MLA from Mohammadamad.
All three Ansari brothers — were expelled from the BSP in 2010 for criminal activities. They went on to float their own party, the Quami Ekta Dal (QED), which later merged with the Mayawati’s BSP in March 2017 ahead of the UP assembly election.
Before the merger with the BSP, the Ansari brothers had tied up with the Samajwadi Party in the presence of Akhilesh’s estranged uncle and the then party state president Shivpal Singh Yadav with the consent of party patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav.
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At that time, Akhilesh took a high moral ground and vehemently opposed the induction of the Ansari brothers into the party owing to their alleged tainted image.
Akhilesh, then as CM, had put his foot down and the party had to call off the merger of Ansari brothers’ QED within three days of its merger with SP in June 2016.
“A lot of water has flown down the Gomti since 2016. With the political compulsions and the desperation to ride back to power in 2022 assembly elections, the SP chief left his ideals and has inducted the Ansaris into the party,” JP Shukla, a political commentator.
On Friday, at his ancestral village Safai, the SP chief had made the ground for Ansari’s joining by saying that his party was ready to tie up with anyone believing in the “Samajwadi” ideology.
On the other, Ambika Chaudhary, a former Samajwadi Party leader and a close aide of SP supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav, rejoined the party on Saturday.
Chaudhary, before quitting SP, had switched over to Mayawati-led BSP in 2017 just ahead of assembly elections. Chaudhury had quit the SP after getting miffed with to the removal of Mulayam Singh Yadav from the party president’s post by Akhilesh.
However, after losing the election on a BSP ticket from the Fefna constituency in 2017, Chaudhary resigned from the BSP in June this year.
While inducting him on Saturday, Akhilesh Yadav said he was willing to bring his father’s close allies back to the SP ahead of next year’s Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections.
“Ambika ji was very emotional today, so much so that he was unable to say what he wanted to. I can only imagine how much trouble and pain those people would have faced who left the party,” he said.