Dy­naSty in BSP, aS Maya’S Brother takeS cen­tre StaGe

‘Anand Ku­mar takes all key de­ci­sions, from ticket dis­tri­bu­tion to cam­paign­ing’.

The Sunday Guardian - - Nation -

The el eva­tion of Anand Kuma r, Mayawati’s younger brother, to the post of Bahu­jan Sa­maj Party (BSP) vice pres­i­dent ear­lier this year, is be­ing seen by many po­lit­i­cal ex­perts as Mayawati’s suc­ces­sion plan.

Ku­mar will con­tinue with his business in­ter­ests as be­fore and will help in the func­tion­ing of the party. How­ever, ac­cord­ing to a close BSP func­tionary, Ku­mar is now the new boss in BSP and takes al­most all de­ci­sions in the party, from ticket dis­tri­bu­tion to cam­paign­ing. For the first time, the BSP is con­test­ing the on­go­ing lo­cal body polls in the state on its sym­bol (ele­phant) and Ku­mar has been given a free hand to man­age the polls in the state.

A source close to the BSP told The Sun­day Guardian: “The BSP is wit­ness­ing a tough time, as the party is fight­ing on two fronts. On the one hand, the BSP is fac­ing a lead­er­ship cri­sis and, on the other hand, the party is strug­gling to re­tain its dis­grun­tled lead­ers within. Most of the sec­ond line of BSP lead­ers have al­ready left the party and, in such a sce­nario, Mayawati finds Ku­mar suit­able among oth­ers to lead the BSP.”

How­ever, Ku­mar’s ap­point­ment has also at­tracted crit­i­cism from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Sa­ma­jwadi Party (SP) in Ut­tar Pradesh.

Suresh Rana, BJP leg­is­la­tor from Shamli, ac­cused the BSP of pro­mot­ing dy­nas­tic pol­i­tics like Mu­layam Singh Ya­dav of SP and Lalu Ya­dav of Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD). “The BSP claims to be the party of Dal­its and marginalised peo­ple, but in re­al­ity the party supremo is pro­mot­ing her fam­ily mem­bers in pol­i­tics like Mu­layam Singh and Lalu Ya­dav,” Rana told The Sun­day Guardian. Deny­ing BJP’s al­le­ga­tion, Mahipal Singh, for­mer BSP leg­is­la­tor from Sa­ha­ran­pur, said: “By ap­point­ing Ku­mar as vice pres­i­dent, the BSP will be able to get the spot­light back and it will win the hearts of Dal­its in the state.”

“The ap­par­ent shift of the Dal­its, a tra­di­tional BSP vote bank, to­wards the BJP—first dur­ing the Lok Sabha elec­tions and then in the UP As­sem­bly elec­tion— has hin­dered the prospects of BSP. Ku­mar’s ap­point­ment will cer­tainly make the party stronger in UP,” Singh added.

Over the past decade, Ku­mar, who worked as a gov­ern­ment clerk in Noida, has trans­formed into a real es­tate and hos­pi­tal­ity sec­tor baron, with prop­er­ties in Mus­soorie, Silig­uri, Mum­bai, Delhi, Kolkata and Luc­know.

He had stayed away from the lime­light un­til re­cently when the En­force­ment Direc­torate ( ED) claimed it had de­tected that Rs 104 crore in cash was de­posited in two ac­counts, in­clud­ing one be­long­ing to Ku­mar and an­other of the BSP. In­come tax au­thor­i­ties are also prob­ing the ex­traordi- nary prof­its his com­pa­nies have made. As on date, Ku­mar and his wife are on the board of di­rec­tors of over 10 com­pa­nies.

Th­ese com­pa­nies own as­sets worth hun­dreds of crores and most of th­ese are profit-mak­ing, even as some have been the sub­ject of in­ves­ti­ga­tion by Cen­tral agen­cies.

Ku­mar’s for­tunes changed dur­ing Mayawati’s third stint as Chief Min­is­ter in 2002-2003 in UP. After the BJP reach­ing new heights in Ut­tar Pradesh, Mayawati and her BSP find them­selves on the mar­gins of UP pol­i­tics.

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