Tickets to tainted persons: Mayawati may earn votes but has lost sympathy
Lucknow: Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) supremo Mayawati, has lost high-moral ground by providing party ticket to Mukhtar Ansari and two of his family members , she had acquired by promising to end goonda-raj in Uttar Pradesh.
She has been criticised for it by several newspapers in their editorials. One English daily has even gone to the extent of saying that she has " weakened her anti-criminal poll plank" by taking them in on the eve of election. The statement by Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi made here on Sunday praising Mayawati is misplaced considerered it in this light.
Former UP Chief Minister had raised her status in the eyes of those who were dissatisfied with the law and order situation in the state. Her promise to give the voters a gooda-free state if elected to power which she had lost five years ago had drawn them to her party. This act has disenchanted them.
Newspapers and some others have also taken exception to her statement that Ansari was " misled" and " misguided". One can commit one or two wrong acts by ill- advice but not more than a dozen that he has committed in the past.
There are more than 15 criminal cases pending against him including that of murder and kidnapping. What is more, she had herself taken action against the criminal-turned-politician during her rule in 1997 and 2010.
In 1997 he was suspended after he was accused of kidnapping a businessman closely associated with the saffron brigade. Thirteen years later Mayawati expelled him from the party for his alleged involvement in some other criminal cases.
Besides, she has often condemned her main rival, ruling Samajwadi Party for " harbouring" criminals and " vitiating" the atmosphere in the state. " Law and order situation has reached its nadir during the SP rule" has been her refrain in the past. Her recent action has made all this look hollow.
She has allowed them to join the party mainly because Ansari has his areas of influence in three districts of Mau, Ghazipur and Azamgarh located in the eastern part which can help the party during the coming election. Being a member of the minority community he can also attract Muslim votes which will benefit the party further. These two factors, political observers believe, have played a major role in their admission to the party,whatever she may say in her defence.
His and two other family members' selection may improve the BSP seat-tally but not her stature in the eyes of those who are totally opposed to criminalisation of politics.