Apprehension of losing out on her new soft-Hindutva approach and especially antagonising the Brahmin community compelled BSP chief Mayawati to deny renomination of dreaded don and sitting MLA Mukhtar Ansari for Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections from Mau segment in Azamgarh district.
Ansari, alleged to be involved in a number of heinous criminal cases, has been parked in a jail.
Mayawati has announced the name Uttar Pradesh BSP president Bhim Rajbhar as a candidate from Mau, located in eastern part of the UP.
The notorious don is a reviled figure among Hindu community, especially Brahmins, for his “criminal” antecedents, and has an image of a “rabid Muslim communalist”.
His influence spans over at about six districts in eastern parts of the State.
Mayawati has been assiduously cultivating the Brahmins to expand the support base for her party for over three months with an eye on the Assembly elections in UP, which will be held in February-March 2022.
Announcing the candidature of Rajbhar from Mau, Mayawati said her party will try not to field gangsters as candidates.
“Our pledge is to ensure the rule of law by the law,” Mayawati said.
Ansari was once a trusted lieutenant of Mayawati, who had campaigned for him in the 2017 elections when he rejoined the BSP after a gap of seven years. His influence among Muslim community had endeared him to Mayawati.
A source in BSP said at a tactical level, Mayawati is mindful of the ruling BJP led by UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, certain to make law and order an election issue. Ansari as a candidate would have out the BSP on the backfoot.
Yogi Adityanath has a dominating presence in eastern UP, where BJP is planning a big push to make up for possible loss in the number of assembly seats in Western UP which has been reportedly affected by the farmers’ agitation against the three Central agri-laws.