Rajbhar meets Mukhtar, cooks up new equation

Lucknow: In another interesting development, President of the Suheldev Bhartiya Samaj Party (SBSP) Om Prakash Rajbhar had a long meeting with mafia don-turned-politician Mukhtar Ansari inside the Banda prison, where the latter is presently jailed.

During the meeting which took place on Tuesday, Rajbhar was accompanied by Abbas and Umar, the two sons of Mukhtar Ansari.

According to sources, Rajbhar offered Mukhtar to contest the 2022 Assembly elections on an SBSP symbol.

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Mukhtar’s brother Sigbatullah Ansari has joined the Samajwadi Party (SP) but Akhilesh Yadav is apparently averse to bringing the mafia don into his party fold since that would invite unnecessary controversy and flak from other political circles.

The tiff between Akhilesh Yadav and his uncle Shivpal began in 2016 when the latter allowed the merger of Mukhtar Ansari’s Qaumi Ekta Dal into the SP.

Akhilesh Yadav and Rajbhar have, therefore, hit upon the formula under which Mukhtar Ansari could contest the Assembly polls on an SBSP ticket and he would automatically get Samajwadi support since SP and SBSP have already announced their alliance for the elections.

Mukhtar Ansari wields considerable influence in nearly a dozen Assembly segments in eastern Uttar Pradesh. The coming together of Muslims, Rajbhar and Yadav votes in the region would undoubtedly prove to be a winning combination and could upset the ruling BJP’s calculations in the area.

Mukhtar Ansari, who is presently a BSP MLA, has reportedly agreed to the proposal since party president Mayawati has already said that she would not give a ticket to the Ansari brothers.

Mukhtar’s elder brother, Afzal Ansari, is a BSP MP at present.

Rajbhar, when contacted, refused to comment on the outcome of the meeting but his party sources said that the “results were positive and encouraging”.

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