After the UP polls, Abbas Ansari has his eyes set on qualifying for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics
Ghosi, Uttar Pradesh:
Ace shooter and son of jailed 'don' Mukhtar Ansari, Abbas Ansari has two targets -- win the Ghosi assembly seat and garner votes from Muslims in eastern Uttar Pradesh.
The 25-year-old national-level shooter, who is contesting from Ghosi as the Bahujan Samaj Party candidate, is confident of winning.
Abbas, who is making his political debut from Ghosi, wants to enter the Uttar Pradesh Vidhan Bhawan as the youngest legislator.
"I am sure I will win the elections. My dad has done a lot for the people in eastern UP despite being in jail," he said.
Abbas, who is contesting against Fagu Singh Chauhan of BJP and Sudhakar Singh of SP, says he is getting support of all the communities.
"We never discriminate on caste and creed. Whoever comes to us, we help them," he said.
Abbas recently visited a temple, a move which raised eyebrows of ulemas (Muslim scholars).
In his defence, he said, "I don't let anyone dictate anything to me. I do what I think is right. Hundreds of Hindus have voted for my father because he helped them in their worst times. They remain with us, so do we."
Abbas, who is a four-time national shooting champion, entered politics to take forward the family legacy.
"Public service runs in my blood. My family has been in politics. My great grandfather, Mukhtar Ahmed Ansari, was the president of the Indian National Congress and the Muslim League during India's freedom struggle. My uncles, Afzal Ansari (former MP) and Sibgatullah Ansari (MLA), are active politicians," he said.
While his father Mukhtar, facing murder charges, is contesting from Mau, Sibagatullah is the BSP candidate from Mohammadabad.
Mukhtar has over 40 criminal cases against him, including those related to murder and kidnapping. He is also the prime accused in the 2005 murder of BJP legislator Krishnanand Rai, for which he is lodged in Agra jail. Broach the subject with Abbas and he gets defensive.
"You ask people here, who know our family well. Over 90 per cent feel my father is a good man. There is no bigger certificate than this," he said.
After the UP polls, Abbas said, he has his eyes set on qualifying for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.