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Mukhtar Ansari: The ‘Bahubali’ Gangster of Uttar Pradesh Convicted for BJP MLA’s Murder

Image Source:- The Hindu

Jailed gangster-turned-politician Mukhtar Ansari passed away following a heart attack while in custody in Uttar Pradesh’s Banda district on Thursday. A prominent figure in Uttar Pradesh’s political landscape, the 61-year-old Ansari had a colorful and controversial career.

He had won the MLA seat from Mau constituency five times, with two victories as a Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) candidate. Additionally, Ansari was notable for being a relative of former Vice-President Mohammad Hamid Ansari.

However, his political career was marred by criminal allegations. In April 2023, Ansari was convicted and handed a 10-year prison sentence for the murder of BJP MLA Krishnanand Rai by an MP MLA court.

Subsequently, on March 13, 2024, he received a life sentence in connection with a fake arms license case. Ansari’s demise marks the end of a controversial figure who straddled the worlds of politics and crime in Uttar Pradesh for decades, leaving behind a complex legacy.

Mukhtar Ansari’s Family History

Mukhtar Ansari, who passed away after suffering a heart attack while in custody in Uttar Pradesh’s Banda district on Thursday, lived a life marked by unique familial ties and personal choices. Notably, Ansari remained unmarried throughout his lifetime. His decision to eschew marriage set him apart in a society where familial bonds are highly valued.

In terms of his lineage, Ansari hailed from a distinguished family background. His paternal grandfather, Mukhtar Ahmed Ansari, held the prestigious position of being an early president of the Indian National Congress, underscoring the family’s deep-rooted involvement in India’s political history.

Additionally, on his maternal side, Ansari was connected to military lineage through his grandfather Mohammad Usman, who served as a Brigadier in the Indian Army. These familial connections added layers to Ansari’s identity, further shaping his journey as a controversial figure in Uttar Pradesh’s political landscape.

Image Source:- The Hindu

The Political Odyssey and Feud: Mukhtar Ansari’s Career and Rivalry With Brijesh Singh

Mukhtar Ansari’s entry into politics traces back to 1995 when he first ventured into the realm of student politics at Banaras Hindu University (BHU). Subsequently, in 1996, he secured his maiden victory as a Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA). Upon assuming office, Ansari began to challenge the dominance of his rival, Brijesh Singh, particularly in the Poorvanchal region.

The rivalry between Ansari and Singh escalated dramatically in 2002 when Singh’s convoy reportedly ambushed Ansari’s, resulting in a violent clash that claimed the lives of three of Ansari’s associates. Initially presumed dead, Singh was later discovered to have survived the altercation, perpetuating the enmity between the two leaders. Singh later backed BJP leader Krishnanand Rai in the 2002 Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections, defeating Ansari’s brother, Afzal Ansari, a five-time MLA, from Mohammadabad.

Tragically, in 2005, BJP MLA Krishnanand Rai and six of his aides were gunned down in public, an incident that occurred while Ansari was incarcerated in connection with a riot case. This event further intensified the political turmoil in the region.

In 2007, Mukhtar Ansari and his brother Afzal aligned themselves with the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP). However, their association with criminal activities led to their expulsion from the BSP in 2010. Undeterred, the Ansari brothers established their own political outfit, the Quami Ekta Dal (QED). Despite his imprisonment, Mukhtar Ansari contested the 2009 Lok Sabha elections from Varanasi on a BSP ticket, ultimately losing to the BJP’s Murli Manohar Joshi.

Continuing his political journey, Ansari challenged Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections from Varanasi but faced defeat. In 2016, he rejoined the BSP ahead of the 2017 Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections, emerging victorious from the Mau constituency as a BSP candidate. This tumultuous trajectory underscores Ansari’s enduring presence in Uttar Pradesh’s political arena, marked by a blend of electoral successes, criminal allegations, and ongoing controversies.

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Author:- Apoorva Arora

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