Gangster-turned-politician Mukhtar Ansari's Quami Ekta Dal (QED), whose merger with Samajwadi Party last year had triggered turmoil in that party, on Thursday merged with BSP, whose chief Mayawati claimed that all criminal cases against him are "false".
Announcing the merger of his party in presence of Mayawati here, QED president Afzal Ansari, Mukhtar's brother, attacked Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, describing him as "anti-muslim and a betrayer". Mayawati, while claiming that the image of the Ansari family was being "maligned" by political rivals by framing them in "false cases", said Mukhtar Ansari, his son Abbas Ansari and brother Sigbatullaha are being given party tickets from Mau, Ghosi and Mohmadabad seats, respectively, to contest the upcoming Assembly polls. On the occasion, Afzal said, "The Ansaris will expose Akhilesh and work to strengthen BSP."
In June last year, QED had announced merger with Samajwadi Party in presence of Shivpal Yadav, the then state unit president of the party. However, that was cancelled soon after as Akhilesh vehemently opposed the move. This led to a major fight between Akhilesh and his uncle Shivpal, finally culminating in split in the party.
"They (Ansaris) were earlier in BSP and contested polls with our tickets but left under pressure from Samajwadi Party," Mayawati said.
Ever since Akhilesh fielded Altaf Ansari from Mau Sadar seat, from where Mukhtar is the sitting MLA, there has been speculation that the merger of QED and Samajwadi Party will become redundant.