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Ex-minister, Mukhtar Ansari’s brother join SP; BJP slams ‘mafia link’

The induction of Ansari, who is a former MLA from Mohammadabad constituency in Ghazipur district, drew criticism from the BJP, with the ruling party asking what the relationship between “mafia Mukhtar’s brother and SP would be called”.

Sibghatullah Ansari join SP in the presence of Akhilesh Yadav in Lucknow.

With the Assembly elections getting closer, the Samajwadi Party on Saturday inducted gangster-turned-politician Mukhtar Ansari’s brother Sibghatullah Ansari and former minister Ambika Chaudhary into the party.

The induction of Ansari, who is a former MLA from Mohammadabad constituency in Ghazipur district, drew criticism from the BJP, with the ruling party asking what the relationship between “mafia Mukhtar’s brother and SP would be called”.

Mukhtar Ansari, a BSP leader and five-time MLA from Mau, is currently in jail, while Sibghatullah’s other brother Afzal Ansari is a BSP MP from Ghazipur. The Ansari family has sizeable influence in eastern UP districts such as Ghazipur, Ballia, Mau, Azamgarh and Varanasi.

Speaking after Sibghatullah and Chaudhary joined the SP, party chief Akhilesh Yadav said, “It will be my attempt that all of Netaji’s (Mulayam Singh Yadav’s) close people join the party…”

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Chaudhary appeared emotional on stage at the party headquarters. In 2017, Chaudhary, a long-time aide to Mulayam Singh Yadav, had left the SP saying he was saddened by the way the SP patriarch was treated by his son and then CM Akhilesh.

Contacted by The Sunday Express, Chaudhary said that he quit the BSP as he was not given any major responsibility in the party. He refused to comment when asked if his concern regarding treatment of Mulayam by the SP was resolved.

Sibghatullah, a former MLA, said that he quit the BSP because no one in the party supported his family when they needed it. “No one in the BSP spoke about the injustice being meted out to my brother who is in jail. From the tallest leaders to party workers, no one raised their voice for my brother and family. Akhilesh-ji, despite being in SP, has spoken about it and has tried to heal our wounds. He is a popular leader with a very wide support base,” said Sibghatullah. Asked if his brothers may follow him to the SP, he said, “I have joined the SP independently. It has nothing to do with my brothers’ future.”

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After the joining, the UP unit of the BJP tweeted, “This is the real face of the Samajwadi Party. They want to be in power at any cost even if that means shaking hands with mafia Mukhtar Ansari’s family. They should not forget who the Chief Minister of UP is.”

Reacting to the allegations, SP national spokesperson Juhie Singh said that it is wrong to associate crimes of a person with his entire family. “We welcome Sibghatullah Ansari into the party and he represents his constituency as a leader, and that is what matters,” said Singh.

First published on: 29-08-2021 at 02:55:37 am
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