Does Gangster Mukhtar Ansari’s Induction  Into The BSP Bode Well For Mayawati?Mukhtar Ansari (PTI)

Mukhtar Ansari, a criminal-turned-politician and four-time member of Legislative Assembly, has joined the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) along with his son and his brothers. Ansari is the sitting legislator from Mau, and will contest from there. His son Abbas Ansari is set to contest from Ghosi, and his older brother Sibagatullah Ansari will contest from Mohammadabad, said sources.

The Ansaris joining the BSP is being seen by some as an attempt to counter the supposed consolidation of Muslim votes behind the Samajwadi Party-Congress alliance in Uttar Pradesh. It is also being seen as an act of nervousness on behalf of Mayawati. The BSP had made a pro-active outreach for Muslim votes in Uttar Pradesh, but the SP-Congress alliance was seen as a setback to its chances of returning to power.

Quami Ekta Dal, a party founded by Ansari and his brothers in 2010, was merged with the SP October last year with the approval of Shivpal Yadav, the then state president of the party. However, Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav opposed the union, and was unlikely to continue with the arrangement after being anointed national president earlier this month. It is widely believed that Ansari’s association was one of the reasons for the tussle in the Yadav family.

Will Ansari’s induction not dent Mayawati’s image as a tough administrator who focuses on law and order?

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