Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) supremo Mayawati on Friday expelled criminal-turned-politician Mukhtar Ansari from the primary membership of the party.
"Ansari's involvement in criminal activities led our party president to take the decision to expel him," a BSP press release released in Lucknow said.
His elder brother Afzal Ansari, who was earlier a BSP MP, also has been expelled while the party has decided to distance itself from their cousin Sibtainullah Ansari, who had been extending his support to the BSP despite being a Samajwadi Party legislator.
Both Afzal and Mukhtar are currently in jail in connection with the murder of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) legislator Krishnanand Rai, who was gunned down in a broad daylight ambush near Allahabad a few years ago.
According to the press release, Mukhtar Ansari "had failed to live up to the expectations of the BSP where he was given entry on the promise that he would mend his ways".
According to the release, a raid by the police on Ghazipur jail earlier this month revealed that Mukhtar Ansari and his brother were continuing with their criminal activities even from behind the bars and hence the party leadership decided to throw them out as "they were giving BSP a bad name".
Justifying the party's earlier decision to take in the Ansari brothers, despite their criminal antecedents, the release added: "Mayawati admitted Ansari into the party on the plea that past governments had implicated him in criminal cases simply because of his crusade against affluent and powerful landowners to uphold the cause of the poor and the downtrodden."
Mukhtar and Afzal Ansari were the official BSP nominees for the Varanasi and Ghazipur seats respectively in the April-May Lok Sabha elections, but both lost.