Anand Kumar is the most trusted member of the BSP president’s family and takes care of her finances.
Lucknow: On Ambedkar Jayanti, Bahujan Samaj Party president Mayawati announced her succession plan by appointing her brother Anand Kumar as the party vice-president.
Ms Mayawati also declared that she was no longer averse to taking help from other parties (read rival Samajwadi Party) in her struggle against the BJP, especially on the issue of alleged EVM tampering.
The BSP president, who has been guarded about her personal life, also spoke about her medical condition. “I cannot put too much stress on my throat after a glandular operation in 1996. That is why I have to read out my speeches”, she said.
Ms Mayawati on Friday left her supporters almost shocked when she chose her Ambedkar Jayanti address to name her brother as her successor.
The BSP has always slammed parties that indulge in nepotism and Ms Mayawati has always underlined the fact that her mentor, late Kanshi Ram, abandoned his family to pursue his political goals.
However, she emphasised that Anand Kumar was being appointed as the BSP vice-president on the condition that he would never become MP, MLA, minister or chief minister, and would only work for the party.
Mr Kumar is the most trusted member of the BSP president’s family and takes care of her finances. However, he is not known to directly interfere in the running of the party or interact with party workers. He has also recently been under the Income-Tax department’s scanner.
The department had on April 7 launched multiple survey operations at nearly a dozen premises of businesses and firms linked to Mr Kumar. A survey operation under I-T laws pertains to raids where taxmen only visit the business premises of an entity and do not cover his or her residential premises.
The department is in the process of ascertaining the veracity of financial transactions undertaken by these entities.
Ms Mayawati also displayed her willingness to be politically flexible after the party’s rout in the 2014 Lok Sabha and now the recent Assembly elections.
She said she has no reservations in joining hands with other parties to fight against the BJP since “it is the democracy which comes first...we have to keep democracy alive”.
Her statement assumes significance in view of the willingness shown by SP president Akhilesh Yadav to enter into a grand alliance with the BSP to challenge the BJP in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
The BSP chief, who has been under fire following a recent decision of the Yogi Adityanath government to order probe into the sale of 21 sugar mills and construction of memorials under her government, said, “I and my family are being targeted under a conspiracy so that I stop speaking on EVM tampering by the BJP”.