Lucknow, June 21 (IANS) The Quami Ekta Dal (QED) led by dreaded gangster turned legislator Mukhtar Ansari, who is currently lodged in the Agra jail, on Tuesday announced merger with the ruling Samajwadi Party (SP) in Uttar Pradesh.
The merger was approved by state Public Works Department Minister Shivpal Singh Yadav, who is Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav’s younger brother, in the state capital at a joint press conference with QED member Sibgatullah Ansari.
Earlier in the day, Mukhtar Ansari’s brother and former parliament member Afzal Ansari met Shivpal Singh Yadav.
“I am sure Mukhtar Ansari’s entry into the SP will further strengthen the party, specially in eastern Uttar Pradesh,” the minister said.
Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav was reportedly opposed to the merger as it “will send a wrong message to the electorate”, especially given the criminal background of Mukhtar Ansari, but gave in to the wishes of his uncle, Shivpal Singh Yadav.