UP: ‘Bulldozer Baba’ drives out mafia families from 2024 elections

Insight Online News

Lucknow, March 22 : Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, who is popularly known as ‘Bulldozer Baba’ for his justice policy against criminals, has managed to drive most mafia candidates out of the political arena in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.

These mafia leaders have dominated state elections since decades, but this year, they are conspicuous by their absence.

Senior SP leader Mohd Azam Khan – designated as ‘land mafia’ by the Yogi Adityanath government – and his family will not be visible in these elections.

Azam Khan and his son Abullah Azam were disqualified from the membership of the UP assembly in February 2023, following their conviction in a 16-year-old case in Moradabad where they had staged a dharna on the highway in 2007.

Azam Khan’s wife Tanzeem Fatima, a former MP and former MLA, has also been convicted in a fake birth certificate case and cannot contest polls.

This is probably the first time, that the Khan family will have no stakes in the Rampur Lok Sabha elections.

Another family that has almost been forced out of polls is that of Mukhtar Ansari.

Mukhtar and his son Abbas Ansari are in jail while the other family members are facing demolition of their illegal properties across the state.

Though Mukhtar’s elder brother Afzal Ansari has been named as SP candidate from Ghazipur, following a stay on his conviction by court, sources said that there was “uncertainty” over him contesting the polls.

“We are living in an uncertain time and we do not know what will happen tomorrow. We cannot confirm about the election,” said a family member.

The third “mafia” family that has been bulldozed by the state government is that of slain Atiq Ahmad.

While Atiq and his brother Ashraf were shot dead by assailants while they were being escorted by a police team for a medical check-up at a hospital in April last year, their wives are on the run. Two of Atiq’s sons, Umar and Ali, are in jail and the third son, Asad, was also killed in encounter with police last year.

“Had Atiq not been killed last year; he would have made his wife Shaista Parveen or his son contest the Lok Sabha polls from Prayagraj. He was already making plans from Sabarmati jail where he was lodged,” said a family source.

Former MP Dhanajay Singh is another mafia-turned-politician whose election plans have been dashed.

Dhananjay Singh was planning to contest Lok Sabha polls from Jaunpur in east Uttar Pradesh when a local court in Jaunpur, on March 6, sentenced Singh to seven years of imprisonment in a case of kidnapping a UP Jal Nigam project manager.

Though he has appealed against the conviction in the higher court, he will be able to contest elections only if he gets a stay in time.

Vijay Mishra, a former MLA from the Nishad Party, was arrested from Madhya Pradesh in 2020 in a rape case.

Since he was convicted in the rape case and awarded a 15-year sentence last year, he cannot contest elections. His wife Ramlalli Mishra and son Vishnu are also booked in various cases and are untraceable which means that the family cannot pursue its electoral ambitions this time.

Veteran politician and mafia don Hari Shankar Tiwari passed away last year but his son Vinay Shankar Tiwari, a former MLA, has been facing ED action, which has jeopardised his plans to contest elections.

His elder brother Bhishm Shankar Tiwari has also shown no inclination to contest polls. This will the first time in four decades that the Tiwari family will not be a part of elections.

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