3 Years After He Split Yadav Family Down the Middle, Afzal Ansari Will Have Akhilesh Campaign for Him
Akhilesh Yadav will be canvassing for votes for BSP candidate Afzal Ansari, who was once denied permission to merge his party, Qaumi Ekta Dal, with the SP.
File photo of Akhilesh Yadav
Lucknow: Ending years of bitterness, Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Akhilesh Yadav on Monday will address a joint rally for Afzal Ansari, the brother of don-turned-politician Mukhtar Ansari and BSP candidate from Ghazipur, along with BSP supremo Mayawati.
Yadav will be canvassing for votes for Ansari, who was once denied permission to merge his party, Qaumi Ekta Dal, with the SP. The issue became a major point of difference between the SP chief and his uncle Shivpal Yadav, who was a close aide of the jailed muscleman Mukhtar Ansari.
In 2016, the Chacha-Bhatija feud intensified after Shivpal Yadav went against his nephew’s wishes, organised a press conference and announced the merger of Qaumi Ekta Dal into SP with the consent of Mulayam Singh Yadav.
However, much to Shivpal’s embarrassment, the merger proposal was turned down by the SP Parliamentary Board. This widened the rift between Shivpal and Akhilesh Yadav.
The then CM of the state even dismissed his cabinet minister Balram Yadav, who had allegedly played a crucial role in the merger of QED with SP. Afzal Ansari, who accused Akhilesh Yadav of hijacking Samajwadi Party, switched camps and joined the BSP.
However, burying the hatchet, Akhilesh Yadav has confirmed that he will be participating in joint rally in Ghazipur for Afzal Ansari. His presence was also confirmed by SP District Chief Nankahu Yadav.
This change of plans was reportedly done for the greater good of the UP gathbandhan, after rivals tried to cash in on the differences between the two estranged leaders.
According to sources, the animosity between the leaders was also becoming a source of confusion for the voters, as Afzal Ansari, too, has been hesitant in participating in SP gatherings. Party insiders are also of the opinion that when Mayawati could put the infamous guesthouse incident to rest, even Akhilesh Yadav can forget the past.
A former MP for two terms between 2004 and 2014, and also the fact that he is a local don’s brother makes Afzal Ansari’s candidature an important factor in in the election for Ghazipur parliamentary constituency from where BJP has fielded Union Minister Manoj Sinha.
The electorally crucial constituency of Purvanchal goes to polls in the last phase of polling on May 19
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