Mayawati appoints nephew, 'heir' Akash Anand as national coordinator; BSP chief's brother Anand Kumar becomes national VP

Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) supremo Mayawati, who had always been a strong critic of dynastic politics, has finally appointed her brother Anand Kumar and her nephew Akash Anand as the party’s national vice president and national coordinator, respectively, in a closed-door meeting on Sunday.

While, this is the second term for Kumar in the party, Akash has been widely tipped to be Mayawati’s heir. This development which is contrary to BSP founder Kanshi Ram’s commitment of keeping the family members away from political posts for the sake of the Dalit movement, has attracted sharp criticism from the BJP.

 Mayawati appoints nephew, heir Akash Anand as national coordinator; BSP chiefs brother Anand Kumar becomes national VP

File image of BSP chief Mayawati's nephew Akash Anand. PTI

The anointment of these two members of her family also indicates towards a bigger plan of Mayawati to strengthen the BSP with close confidants on her sides, especially after the decision taken by her on Monday to end tie-up with the Samajwadi Party (SP) and contest future elections alone.

Who’s Anand Kumar?

A low-profile businessman, Kumar is the younger brother of Mayawati. Earlier in 2017, he was appointed as vice-president, but with a rider that he wouldn’t contest elections or hold any office of power. Instead he would dedicate his services for the party.

However, in April 2018, Mayawati relieved him from party posts to tackle the charges levelled against her of nepotism and bringing in her close relatives into party fold.

His name was in news ahead of the 2017 Assembly polls in Uttar Pradesh, as he was on the radar of the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and the Income Tax (IT) Department for the meteoric rise in his fortune and the period of it coinciding with the time when Mayawati was the chief minister of the state, ie, between 2007 and 2012.

There were also allegations against Kumar of acquiring benami properties, which were facilitated by SK Jain, a Delhi-based businessman.

Prior to Mayawati’s coming to power, Kumar worked as a clerk in Noida Authority. After Mayawati became the chief minister, Kumar got into business, which flourished multifold and there had been a sharp increase in his assets.

Who’s Akash Anand?

Mayawati’s nephew Akash Anand, a 24-year-old MBA graduate from London, is the young face of the BSP. Considered close to his aunt, he was first introduced in Uttar Pradesh politics in the later part of 2017.

Besides handling Mayawati’s Twitter profile, his presence can be seen in press conferences and public meetings of the BSP chief.

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His elevation in the party also gives a hint of Mayawati’s line of succession. Akash was included as a star campaigner for the party during the elections.

The first was in 2016, when he accompanied Mayawati in a public rally at Saharanpur. He next shared the stage with Mayawati during a rally in Meerut in February 2016.

Ahead of Lok Sabha polls this year, Akash addressed a rally with Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav and Rashtriya Lok Dal chief Ajit Singh. The indications were clear that Mayawati wanted her nephew to be her successor.

Besides rallies, Akash has also accompanied the BSP supremo to other social functions. On 15 January, when Yadav visited Mayawati on her birthday, Akash was spotted standing behind his aunt. He was also present during a meeting between Mayawati and RLD leader Tejashwi Yadav.

The decision to elevate Akash has gained importance as it comes ahead of the bypolls for the Assembly seats in Uttar Pradesh with the BSP attempting to attract the youth and revive the party cadre.

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Updated Date: Jun 24, 2019 20:29:26 IST