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Akhilesh Yadav to visit Mukhtar Ansari’s family today

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Lucknow, April 7 :Samajwadi Party (SP) Chief Akhilesh Yadav will visit gangster-turned-politician Mukhtar Ansari’s ancestral house in Mohammadabad town of Uttar Pradesh’s Ghazipur district on Sunday to offer condolences to his family.

Yadav’s visit comes days after leaders of various political parties visited the Ansari home. Mukhtar Ansar died on March 28.

One of the first political leaders to visit the Ansari family was Asaduddin Owaisi, head of All India Majlis-E-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM).

The Samajwadi Party, thereafter, rushed party leader and former Lok Sabha MP Dharmendra Yadav and Rajya Sabha MP Balram Yadav to Mohammadabad in Ghazipur. Both the leaders offered flowers at the grave of Mukhtari Ansari at the Kalibagh graveyard and visited his residence to offer their condolences to the family.

SP leader Ram Sudhakar Yadav, on Saturday, installed a hoarding of Mukhtar Ansari near the party’s state unit office, urging people to not celebrate Eid and observe two-minute silence for Mukhtar Ansari. Later the local police removed the hoarding.

During the visit, Akhilesh Yadav will meet Mukhtar’s brothers Sibgatullah Ansari, who is a former SP MLA and sitting BSP MP from Ghazipur Lok Sabha seat and Afzal Ansari, who is contesting the 2024 Lok Sabha election on the SP ticket. Yadav will also meet Mukhtar’s nephew and SP’s Mohammadabad MLA Suhaib Ansari, son Umar Ansari and other members of the family.

In 2016, Akhilesh Yadav had opposed his uncle Shivpal Yadav’s move to merge the Quami Ekta Dal (QED) launched by Ansari in the Samajwadi Party.

Aware that Ansari’s death would cast a shadow on the fortune of the political parties in the constituencies dominated by Muslims in the Lok Sabha election, the SP planned his visit to the Ansari residence.

Mukhtar wielded influence over Muslim votes in Ghazipur, Mau, Azamgarh and Varanasi. Muslims account for 20 per cent of the voters in the Lok Sabha seats in these districts.

Though Mukhtar is no more, the domination of his family over Muslim voters in the region is likely to continue. His brother Afzal Ansari, who won the 2019 Lok Sabha elections on a BSP ticket, is contesting the 2024 Lok Sabha elections on the Samajwadi Party (SP) ticket.

Ansari’s son Abbas Ansari secured victory on the Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party (SBSP) ticket from the Mau Assembly seat in the 2022 Assembly election while his nephew Suhaib Ansari is SP MLA from Mohammadabad seat.

A BJP spokesman said, “The SP leaders want to encash the sympathy for Mukhtar Ansari among Muslims in the Lok Sabha elections. They are also trying to get the support of the local Muslim leaders. Former BSP MLA Shah Alam aka Guddu Jamali has already joined SP.”

Interestingly, aware of the influence of Ansaris in east UP, BSP chief Mayawati was one of the first leaders to demand a high-level investigation into Mukhtar’s death. She said the Ansari family had expressed persistent apprehensions and levelled serious allegations about his death in jail.

Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee president Ajay Rai has also sought a probe into the death of Ansari.

Mukhtar Ansari, interestingly, was accused of the killing of Awadhesh Rai, brother of Ajay Rai. (IANS)

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