LUCKNOW: Mukhtar Ansari, Gayatri Prajapati, Purushottam Naresh Dwivedi, Anand Sen Yadav, Ram Murti Verma and now Kuldeep Singh Sengar – they all belong to the same tribe of musclemen moneyed politicians, who on the basis of their clout in their respective fiefdoms, have enjoyed the protection from prominent political parties from time to time in Uttar Pradesh.
BJP has lost face and drew nationwide outrage over delayed expulsion of tainted Bangarmau MLA and Unnao rape case accused Kuldeep Singh Sengar despite his shady credentials.
Why tainted MLA Sengar has been so important for political parties through the years?
A data analysis leads to his popularity, not only in his constituency but in adjoining five constituencies of Unnao. The popularity, which he earned more as being a ‘bahubali’. “Moreover, the Thakur-Brahmin politics of Unnao also played an important role in the four-time MLA as a prominent Thakur face in
Unnao who has been able to build up a strong vote base for himself not only in Bangarmau but in other five assembly segments of Unnao,” says a veteran political leader of Unnao.
The increasing graph of his vote share since 2002 when he stepped into the political arena by winning Bangarmau seat for the BSP till 2017 says it all. Besides winning his own seat, he has had an influence in other five seats -- Unnao, Bhagwantnagar, Purwa, Safipur and Mohan—of Unnao.
Though the SP and BSP are vocal against Sengar in the current controversy, they have also enjoyed his clout in Unnao from time to time. In 2002, Sengar won with 24 per cent votes and his party, the BSP, bagged three of the then five seats of Unnao. In 2003, his brother Atul Sengar had opened fire on an Additional Superintendent of Police but nothing happened in the case, despite an FIR.
Similarly, in 2007, while winning Bangarmau on an SP ticket with 28 per cent vote share, four of the then five assembly seats went to Samajwadi Party. Then in 2012, Sengar against contested on SP ticket and won Bangarmau with 33 per cent vote share and SP bagged five of the six assembly seats in Unnao as by then Mohan had also become a part of Unnao parliamentary segment.
Finally, in 2017, he joined the saffron bandwagon and won Bangarmau with 43 per cent votes and BJP bagged all six assembly segments with a strong foothold in Unnao. His powerful presence in Unnao made BJP MP from the constituency visit him at Sitapur jail where he has been lodged for the last year and a half over the rape case express gratitude which snowballed into a huge controversy giving a beating to BJP image further.
It’s not that Sengar is the only one of this ilk of ‘bahubalis’. There are many more still occupying the positions of pride in parties across the political spectrum of Hindi heartland. When 2017 UP Assembly elections were at the peak, Akhilesh cabinet minister Gayatri Prajapati had hit the headlines over charges of gang rape and molestation and the then SP government was seen standing firmly behind him. In the same SP regime, another SP minister Ram Murti Verma was accused of setting a scribe ablaze in Shahjahanpur but Verma continued as minister in Akhilesh’s cabinet.
Similarly, mafia don-turned politician Mukhtar Ansari and his siblings’ stint with SP and BSP is not hidden. Currently, Mukhtar is BSP MLA from Mau, his brother Afzal is party MP from Ghazipur. Though in 2016, Akhilesh had opposed his uncle Shivpal vociferously over Mukhtar’s induction into SP, but in 2019 Lok Sabha polls he could not utter a word when Mayawati chose Afazal as party candidate from Ghazipur. Mukhtar has been in jail for years over scores of murder, extortion, abduction
cases. He was recently exonerated for lack of evidence in the high-profile murder of prominent BJP leader Krishanand Rai.
Even Mayawati minister Anand Sen Yadav and her MLA Purushottam Naresh Dwivedi both were accused of rape. Anadd Sen was even jailed in a case of rape and murder of the Dalit school girl. Dwivedi was later convicted and he died in jail. However, in her fourth stint as CM (2007-12) she immediately expelled both leaders from the party recommending a CBI probe. While Mayawati is taking to Twitter to red flag BJP’s stance over Sengar, forgetting how she had given ticket to another Chandrabhadra Singh alias Sonu Singh with a long criminal past from Sultanpur in 2019 Lok Sabha polls.