Battle for UP: Mukhtar not to contest, hands over baton to son
Mukhtar Ansari, currently lodged in Banda jail, is a five-term MLA and has been representing the Mau Sadar seat since 1996
Jailed mafia don-and-MLA Mukhtar Ansari's is now unlikely to contest the ongoing Assembly elections.
His son Abbas Ansari has filed his nomination papers from the Mau Sadar assembly constituency in eastern Uttar Pradesh as a candidate of the Suheldev Bhartaiya Samaj Party (SBSP), an ally of the Samajwadi Party (SP).
Mukhtar Ansari, currently lodged in Banda jail, is a five-term MLA and has been representing the Mau Sadar seat since 1996.
Mau will go to polls in the seventh and last phase on March 7.
After filing his nomination, Abbas Ansari said, "My father is a five-time MLA from Mau Sadar. He will not contest the election this time. It is a son's duty to carry forward the legacy of his father. Mau is my 'karmabhoomi' and I will carry forward my father's political legacy. I will leave no stone unturned for it."
Asked why Mukhtar decided not to contest, Abbas Ansari claimed "democracy is under threat today".
He further said that a conspiracy was being hatched so that his father could not file his nomination. "In such a situation, he has handed over his legacy to me," Abbas Ansari said.
Mukhtar Ansari's lawyer Daroga Singh said, "He (Mukhtar) has handed over his political legacy to his son Abbas Ansari. Abbas filed his nomination as the SBSP candidate from the Mau Sadar Assembly seat, which Mukhtar won five times consecutively. Now, Abbas will be in electoral politics."
This time, the BJP has fielded Ashok Singh, the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) has fielded its state president Bhim Rajbhar and the Congress candidate is Madhavendra Bahadur Singh from Mau Sadar, which has been a bastion of Mukhtar Ansari, who first won the seat in 1996 as a BSP candidate.
Mukhtar Ansari retained the seat as an independent in 2002 and 2007, and as a Quami Ekta Dal candidate in 2012. In 2017, he won the seat on the BSP ticket.
Abbas Ansari had contested the 2017 assembly election from Ghosi as a BSP candidate and finished second to the BJP's Phagu Chauhan.
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