Jailed politicians make a beeline for BSPAugust 16th, 2008 - 8:22 pm ICT by IANS
Lucknow, Aug 16 (IANS) Two powerful criminal-turned-politicians from eastern Uttar Pradesh Saturday joined the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) following parleys with state Public Works Department Minister Naseemuddin Siddiqui in Allahabad and Mau jails. Atiq Ahmed, the suspended Samajwadi Party MP from Phulpur, and Mukhtar Ansari, an independent legislator from Mau district, joined the party after meetings with Siddiqui a close confidant of Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati.
Sources told IANS that Ahmed joined BSP after giving a written undertaking that he was not involved in the murder of BSP legislator Raju Pal in 2005, for which he is presently lodged in Allahabad’s Naini jail as an undertrial.
He assured the minister that if the court convicts him for the murder, Mayawati could initiate any action against him as she deemed fit. The meeting between Siddiqui and Ahmed lasted for over an hour.
Ahmed was suspended from the Samajwadi Party for voting against the Manmohan Singh government in the crucial trust vote on the India-Us civil nuclear deal in parliament July 22.
Ansari, who is an accused in the murder of Bharatiya Janata Party legislator Krishnanand Rai in 2006, also joined the party without any conditions after meeting Siddiqui and the BSP MP from Azamgarh, Akbar Ahmed Dumpy in Mau district jail.
Ansari’s brother, Afzal Ansari, was elected MP on a Samajwadi Party ticket from Ghazipur district in eastern Uttar Pradesh and had voted against the United Progressive Alliance government.
Ansari is an independent legislator but had pledged support to Samajwadi Party.
His brother had already been won over by the BSP in the run up to the July 22 trust vote in parliament. Afzal is also an accused in the murder of Rai.