It was not for nothing that the Samajwadi Party patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav and his brother Shivpal, despite opposition from chief minister Akhilesh Yadav, had merged criminal-turned-politician Mukhtar Ansari’s Qaumi Ekta Dal (QED) into the Samajwadi Party (SP).
Now, BSP chief Mayawati has hijacked the idea to her advantage over SP. Ansari brothers —Mukhtar, Afzal, and Sibgatullah—have their high influence on six seats, and considerable influence on six more seats in Mau, Ghazipur, and Azamgarh districts.
Shivpal Yadav had fielded Sibgatullah on his Mohammadabad seat for 2017. SP had won this seat twice in 2007 and 1996. While in 2007 it was Sibgatullah who contested on SP ticket, Afzal Ansari won the seat on SP ticket in 1996.
From 1985 to 1993, Afzal won the seat on CPI ticket. Only twice (2006 by-election) and 2002 Assembly elections, a non-Ansari won the seat. Krishnanand Rai won it 2002, and his widow Alka Rai won the by-poll after the husband’s murder.
In short, it is Ansaris who won, irrespective of which party they contest--CPI, SP, or QED.
On Mau seat, the story has been the same. In 1996, Mukhtar won it on BSP ticket, he won the seat as an Independent in 2002 and 2007, and as his QED candidate in 2012.
Both Sibgatullah and Mukhtar are contesting these two seats on BSP tickets as Mayawati wants to cash on the Shivpal’s idea of the merger of QED.The Shivpal camp had projected victory on 10 seats with QED influence. Now, Mayawati expects to walk away with those victories.
Mubarakpur is another seat that has Ansaris’ influence, and SP won it only once--in 1993. Since then the seat is with Bahujan Samaj Party. SP won Ghosi only once, that is 2012, and BSP and BJP won it twice each since 1993.
Ghazipur is the only seat that SP had won back to back in 2007 and 2012. And Ansari’s influence was a factor in both these victories. Earlier, in QED merger with SP, Mukhtar was not keen on contesting in the alliance, but now when Mayawati has merged QED with BSP, Mukhtar has changed mind.
“Because Mayawati had tweaked her 2017 Assembly elections with a heavy tilt towards attracting Muslim voters and has fielded as many as 100 Muslim candidates, Ansari factor would help BSP,” said an SP leader.