The Telegraph
Saturday , April 22 , 2017

Maya turns to nephew

Lucknow, April 21: Mayawati appears keen to bring to the BSP centre stage her nephew Akash Kumar after inducting her youngest brother Anand Kumar as party vice-president, belying her claims of shunning dynasty politics.

The BSP chief had said over a hundred times in the past that she would never allow relatives to hold key party posts. Akash was around when Mayawati formally introduced brother Anand to BSP leaders here on Wednesday as national vice-president. She had announced Anand's appointment on April 14, the birth anniversary of party icon B.R. Ambedkar.

"Anand is our new vice-president. It is a very important post as he can induct or sack any member. Besides him, there is Akash, my nephew. He has an MBA from London. He will also look after party affairs," Mayawati was quoted as saying in the closed-door meeting on Wednesday.

According to the BSP constitution, the vice-president will be its acting president in the absence of the president. Anand's appointment is being seen an indication that he will be Mayawati's successor.

Although the BSP chief didn't say much about Akash, a party source said: "He is the son of Subhas Kumar, who passed away in July 2016 after prolonged illness. Mayawati didn't tell us much about him (Akash and his likely role). But whatever she is doing is an indication that she is losing confidence with age."

Mayawati is the eldest of three siblings. Subhas was the second, followed by Anand. Speaking at a rally on Ambedkar Jayanti, Mayawati had said she was unwell and could not bear much exertion. "Her dependence on family members is proof she is like any other leader who hands over the reigns to relatives. She has lost the right to criticise the Congress or the Samajwadi Party," the BSP source said.

In an apparent attempt to make the entry of her brother and nephew smooth, Mayawati recently sent her most powerful general secretary, Nasimuddin Siddiqui, to Madhya Pradesh as the state in-charge. Before that, he was removed as western Uttar Pradesh in-charge, considered the most important post after party chief.

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