Ghosi battle intensifies as Mukhtar’s family bats for SP candidate
Suhaib Ansari, SP MLA from Mohammadabad and son of former MLA Sibgatullah Ansari, campaigned extensively in Ghosi’s largely Muslim dominated areas and villages for two days
LUCKNOW The tussle for Ghosi bypoll has intensified with jailed mafia- politician Mukhtar Ansari’s family throwing weight behind Samajwadi Party candidate Sudhakar Singh.
Suhaib Ansari, SP MLA from Mohammadabad, and son of former MLA Sibgatullah Ansari (elder brother of Mukhtar), campaigned extensively in Ghosi’s largely Muslim dominated areas and villages for two days till Thursday.
In Ghosi bypolls, SP’s Sudhakar Singh is locked in a straight fight with the ruling BJP’s Dara Singh Chauhan. Both are one-time former MLAs from this seat. The bypoll to the seat was necessitated after Dara Singh Chauhan, who was SP MLA on the seat, resigned from his assembly membership and joined the BJP.
While Suhaib has already campaigned, sources in the SP said soon his father Sibgatullah Ansari too is likely to campagin for Sudhakar.
On Wednesday, Suhaib tweeted that he had campaigned for Sudhakar Singh.
Mukhtar’s is a politically influential family in the Mau-Ghazipur region. He and his two brothers had been legislators from the region. Jailed Mukhtar’s other brother Afzal too is a gangster-turned-politician, but Sibgatullah has no criminal antecedents.
Mukhtar’s son Abbas Ansari is an MLA as he won the Mau assembly seat as Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party (SBSP) in alliance with the SP, while his cousin Suhaib won the Mohammadabad assembly seat (in Ghazipur) in 2022 as SP candidate.
Sibgatullah, who had been MLA from the same seat twice (once as SP member and the second time as QED-Qaumi Ekta Dal) and Suhaib had joined the SP in 2021.
On Friday, SP chief national general secretary Ramgopal Yadav went to Ghosi to review the party’s preparation for the bypoll. When newspersons asked him about Mukhtar’s family campaigning for the SP in Ghosi, Ramgopal said: “Just one person in a family being a criminal does not make the entire family so.” When asked about Mukhtar’s nephew Suhaib campaigning for Sudhakar, he said: “If he is an SP MLA wouldn’t he campaign for an SP candidate.”
Earlier this week, Suheldev Swabhiman Party (SSP), a party of the Rajbhar community had also announced support for SP candidate Sudhakar Singh.
The SSP is the splinter group of the Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party (SBSP), which is a BJP ally and calls itself the party primarily of Rajbhars.
While SP is defending the seat, BJP’s Dara Singh Chauhan too is defending the seat as he was SP MLA earlier who resigned from the seat on July 15 to join the BJP two days later.