Mayawati dynasty takes shape
Mayawati on Sunday announced she would be appointing younger brother Anand Kumar as national vice-president of the Bahujan Samaj Party and nephew Akash Anand as its national coordinator, belying her repeated avowals of not involving her family in politics.
She was quoted as telling a party meeting in Lucknow that this was “not dynasty politics but the need of the hour”.
“I have checked the credentials and sincerity of Anand and Akash. They have stood by your Behenji (Mayawati) during tough times. I’m sure they would prove to be assets for the party in future elections,” a BSP leader quoted her as saying.
Another party leader said on the condition of anonymity that Mayawati had asked the gathering not to make the decision on these appointments public so that she could herself do so at an opportune time.
Mayawati had appointed Anand Kumar as the party’s national vice-president in March last year but removed him in May the same year, asserting she was against dynasty politics.
She had said: “As we are moving towards a big alliance at the national level against the BJP, and we all believe that the BSP is going to play an important role, I don’t want anybody to accuse me of promoting my own family in politics.”
But three months later, she had inducted Anand Kumar’s son Akash into the party and later put him on the list of the BSP’s “star campaigners” for the Lok Sabha elections. Anand Kumar is a businessman, and Akash recently earned an MBA.
Mayawati’s alliance with the Samajwadi Party flopped in the Lok Sabha elections, the BSP winning just 10 of the 38 seats it contested while the ally won 5 of 37. Mayawati announced the end of the alliance last month.
On Sunday, she reportedly told the party that the BSP had fared so poorly because Samajwadi chief Akhilesh Yadav and his father Mulayam Singh Yadav had secretly sabotaged her candidates.
“I thought they had changed but I was wrong. They were against me in the past and opposed to me in these elections,” multiple party sources quoted her as saying.
Mayawati had apparently promised to help Akhilesh become the chief minister in 2022 if the alliance secured enough seats in the Lok Sabha to enable her to push for the post of Prime Minister or deputy Prime Minister.