Mau: Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) supremo Mayawati today requested people to give votes for jailed gangster-turned-politician Mukhtar Ansari and said that his victory will erase his image of “bahubali (muscleman)”.
Mayawati while addressing a public gathering in Uttar Pradesh’s Mau district said, “I urge you to vote in large numbers, thereby ensuring a comprehensive victory for Mukhtar Ansari…once Mukhtar wins the assembly polls, his ‘baahubali’ (muscleman) image will gradually diminish.”
The former chief minister sought support for Mukhtar in an election meeting in eastern UP which goes to polls for sixth phase on March 4th.
Mukhtar recently joined BSP after the merger of his Qaumi Ekta Dal (QED) with ruling SP failed to take place due to strong objections from Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav. He is facing 40 criminal cases, including those of murder and kidnapping.
BSP has fielded Mukhtar from Mau seat in the outgoing Assembly. He was given custody parole by a trial court from February 16 to March 4 to let him campaign in the election.
Mukhtar, who has been in a Lucknow jail since 2005, is facing trial for his alleged role in the murder of BJP legislator Krishnanand Rai and his six supporters that took place the same year. Rai’s widow had got the case transferred to Delhi from Uttar Pradesh on grounds that Mukhtar could influence and intimidate witnesses hampering a fair trial in the state.