- Mayawati's brother Anand Kumar made national vice president of BSP
- Nephew Akash Anandh has been made a national coordinator
- The 24-year-old nephew is widely tipped to be her political heir
Mayawati, always a great critic of dynastic politics, has given formal appointments in her Bahujan Samaj Party to two members of her family - her brother Anand Kumar and nephew Akash Anand, who is widely tipped to be her political heir. Mr Kumar was made national vice president of the party months after he was dropped from the post following criticism that the BSP chief was promoting her family. Akash Anand, a prominent face during Mayawati's Lok Sabha campaign, has been made a national coordinator. He was one of the two national coordinators appointed by the party today.
At a meeting of the party's office bearers in Lucknow today, it was also announced that Danish Ali, the BSP lawmaker from Amroha in western Uttar Pradesh, will be the leader of the party in the Lok Sabha. Formerly a close aide of Karnataka Chief Minister and Janata Dal Secular leader HD Kumaraswamy, Danish Ali had switched camp ahead of the Lok Sabha election. The JDS has an alliance with Mayawati in the state though the BSP is not part of the government.
Mayawati had made her brother the party's number two spot in April 2017, saying it was given "on the understanding that he would not become an MP, MLA, minister or chief minister".
Akash Anand, the 24-year-old is the son of Anand Kumar, entered politics in the run-up to the Lok Sabha elections. Before that, he was seen at multiple BSP events and also accompanied his aunt on the 2017 Uttar Pradesh state poll campaign.
The question of who would succeed Mayawati has been a matter of speculation but the focus came on her family after her brother started attending the party meetings functioning as a parallel power centre. Reports have said Anand Kumar's wealth grew exponentially when his sister was Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh between 2007 and 2014.
The reshuffle in the party comes more than a month after the national election, in which the party had fared poorly despite a tie-up with Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav and the high expectations kit generated.
The BSP only managed to win 10 seats, double that of Samajwadi Party, while the BJP won 62 seats, marginally less than its tally of 2014.
The BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the results made it clear that the people have rejected the politics of caste which the alliance practiced.
Almost immediately after the election, Mayawati ended the alliance, though she was seen as keeping the door open with fair words for Akhilesh Yadav.
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