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

The Economic Times - - Pure Politics - Va­sudha.Venu­gopal

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

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