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Faced with all out charges of harbouring alleged mafia links, erstwhile Quami Ekta Dal (QED) has a chance to make its mark in Samajwadi Party dispensation by ensuring a massive turnout at a rally of the ruling party in Ghazipur next week. Samajwadi Party president Mulayam Singh Yadav will kick off his election campaign for next year’s Assembly elections from Ghazipur on November 23 from the very RTI ground where Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed BJP’s Parivartan Rally on Monday. “The prime minister addressed a rally this Monday which was a flop show from all angles, this proved to be a big jolt for the BJP which is dreaming of coming to power in the state, they are also accepting it to some extent, now on the same ground Mulayam will launch his poll campaign with a historic rally,” Afzal Ansari, President of the QED, which has now merged with SP, said.
“The November 23 rally will make BJP, hoping to turn the apple cart of SP in its stronghold in Purvanchal, realise its ground reality,” Ansari said in an interview to PTI. It was perhaps the sizeable influence of the Ansari brothers, two of whom Mukhtar Ansari and Sigbatullah Ansari are MLAs, in Mau, Ghazipur and surrounding areas especially among the Muslims that SP chief brushed aside all opposition, also from his son, Akhilesh Yadav and formalised the merger. Incidentally, the QED merger was the first development which brought to the fore differences among members of the first family of the SP but after a flip-flop for months, the merger was done with the condition of keeping Mukhtar out. Mulayam’s preference of Ghazipur over his parliamentary constituency Azamgarh to launch his electioneering also prove the importance he has attached to the region and his faith in the Ansari brothers.