Don Junior Says He Won’t Get Bullied by Clergy
A die-hard fan of dad Mukhtar, Abbas Ansari says he won’t let the ulemas dictate anything to him
Ghosi | Mau: It is late evening and Abbas Ansari has just walked into a room full of Muslim clergy who have a shikayat (grouse) with him. Their contention is that henceforth he stopped saying ‘Jai Hind’ at the end of his campaign speeches. “Hindu aur Musalman mein bus farak hota hai itna, ek khwab dekhta hai ek sapna. Hind kehne se kisika imaan chota nahi ho raha,” he tells them, firmly. What has actually annoyed the clergy are his pictures from a visit to a temple on Saturday, his friends say. Abbas Bin Mukhtar Ansari, who turned 25 just earlier this month, is the son of Mukhtar Ansari, the gangster-turned-politician of eastern UP. The merger of Ansari’s Qaumi Ekta Dal (QED) had stirred a controversy in the Samajwadi Party last year, when Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav bitterly opposed the move. There is no doubt the Ansaris have considerable political clout in the eastern parts of UP and hold sway over more than a dozen assembly seats. Mukhtar Ansari had recently joined the BSP along with his son and brother. While he is contesting on the Mau seat in eastern Uttar Pradesh, Abbas is contesting from Ghosi and Mukhtar’s brother Sibghatullah is the BSP candidate from Mohammadabad.
The SP is campaigning against the Ansari family for using the weaver surname despite being milkis (upper caste) only for social benefit.
Abbas says even politically, it is im- portant for him to reach out to the hindus of Ghosi, more than 65%. “I don’t let the ulemas dictate anything to me. I do what I think is right,” says the MLA. The hearing for Mukhtar’s parole is scheduled on February 28.
At his office in Ghosi — a two floor, half constructed office done up in 22 days, there are pictures of Mayawati and a crowd that is perpetually waiting. Right from 9 am, there is a steady stream of people urging him to go to the meeting venue where BSP leader Nasimuddin Siddiqui is to arrive to urge Muslims to vote for Abbas. “Yahan pe Mukhtar ki chalti hai. Abbas jayenge toh bheed jayegi meeting mein,” a supporter quips. When Abbas says “I am a die hard fan of my father. There is no one like him,” one can’t but point out that Mukhtar has been in and out of jail for over 22 years now. “I know about my father through people. Yesterday, a blind old man hugged me and said I felt like my father.” “Young boys in my community are threatening to go on hunger strike when they see their families talk in favour of voting for SP,” he says, adding, “Papa has helped people out of cancer, various diseases. 90% here think he is a good man. When he comes out this time, mela lagega. When he gets out to campaign, people rush to have a glimpse of him.”
Abbas is contesting against Fagusingh Chouhan of BJP and Sudhakar Singh of SP.
“I have given them sleepless nights. BJP says I am a shooter and hence, people shouldn’t vote for me. You should how angry people here are with that comment.”
Abbas Bin Mukhtar Ansari (centre) meeting people