A young man who was photographed — in crisp blue suit and fur-lined red designer footwear — making a quiet public appearance during the birthday celebrations of his aunt and BSP chief Mayawati on Tuesday created headlines, some of which presented him as her successor.
On Thursday, Mayawati announced that Akash Anand will join the BSP “movement” and get a “chance to learn,” a decision which, she said, was a “tit-for-tat” response to the speculation about the role of her 28-year-old nephew.
Mayawati said the rise in BSP’s popularity after its alliance with the Samajwadi Party has created unrest among some parties and leaders. Because of his presence at her birthday functions, a news channel presented him as her successor, she said.
“It is an anti-BSP conspiracy…dragging in my nephew forces me to think something about it…in a tit-for-tat response, I will make Akash join the BSP movement and give him a chance to learn,” she said in the statement.
Mayawati had begun hand-holding Akash, the son of her younger brother, since his return from London in early 2017. In May 2017, Akash had accompanied Mayawati during a visit to Saharanpur after a Thakur-Dalit clash. A few BSP leaders told The Indian Express they remember Mayawati had introduced Akash to them: “This is Akash, he has completed his MBA from London and now will look after the party works”.
She first introduced her brother Anand and nephew Akash to party workers on September 18, 2017 during a political rally in Meerut. The introduction was considered as the launch of Akash’s political career. It was the first time Anand and Akash shared the dais with her.
Akash, who completed his schooling from Delhi, is the eldest of Anand’s three children. “He accompanies Behanji when she goes to Delhi,” sources said.
Mayawati said her younger brother “Anand Kumar and his family had selflessly struggled since 2003 to support her and the BSP” but never sought party position.
“If any anti-Dalit, casteist media has problems with that (Akash debut), so be it, our party does not care,” Mayawati said.