Lucknow: All political parties may have vowed to keep away from tainted candidates but as elections knock on the door, they seem more concerned about winnability than their image.
An interesting development in the elections this time is that both the BJP and Samajwadi Party (SP) are unwilling to take these ‘tainted’ (read criminals) leaders on board directly but have no qualms about these candidates taking the route through smaller parties who are in alliance with them.
Mafia don-turned-politician Mukhtar Ansari will be contesting his sixth election on the Suheldev Bhartiya Samaj Party (SBSP), ticket from Mau.
SBSP President Om Prakash Rajbhar had met Mukhtar in jail and offered him a ticket.
Mukhtar’s brother Sigbatullah Ansari has already joined the SP and will be contesting from Ghazipur.
Interestingly it was the merger of Mukhtar’s Qaumi Ekta Dal in the SP that had triggered a war between party chief Akhilesh Yadav and his uncle Shivpal Yadav in mid-2016.
Akhilesh was opposed to the merger which was done by Shivpal, then state president of the party.
The war finally led to a vertical split in the party with Akhilesh removing hi uncle form the state president’s post and then assuming charge as party president.
The SBSP is an ally of the SP and sources claim that Akhilesh has no objections to Mukhtar’s candidature now.
Another ‘tainted’ politician who is likely to make a back door entry is former BSP MP Dhananjay Singh.
The BJP does not wish to welcome him into the party but wants it ally, the Apna Dal, to make him its candidate from Malhani in Jaunpur.
In the recent panchayat elections, Dhananjay Singh’s wife Srikala Reddy was elected as the zila panchayat chief with support from Apna Dal.
Another former MLA Jitendra Singh Babloo, who joined the BJP and was later shown the door following a furore over his criminal antecedents, is now aiming to contest the elections as a candidate of the Nishad party from Bikapur in Ayodhya.
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