Meet Akash Anand, Mayawati’s Next-in-Line For the Reins of BSP
Standing right behind Mayawati on her 63rd birthday, as Akhilesh Yadav offered a shawl to the BSP supremo, was a young man dressed sharply in a dark blue suit. He garnered enough attention as any person would for standing in such proximity with Mayawati.
The young man happens to be Mayawati’s nephew, Akash Anand, who is set to make his entry into Indian politics, even as criticism of nepotism is flung at the BSP chief.
Who is Akash Anand?
In his mid-twenties, Akash Anand is the son of Mayawati's brother, Anand Kumar.
Regardless of allegations of nepotism levelled against her, Mayawati on Thursday, 17 January, announced that she will make her nephew, Akash Anand, join the "BSP movement" and give him a chance to learn the ropes.
She claimed there was a rise in the BSP's popularity after its alliance with the Samajwadi Party, and this has created unrest among some parties and leaders.
‘Don’t Care About Nepotism’
In 2017, she had introduced Akash to senior party functionaries. She had told them that he is an MBA graduate from London and would also be involved in party affairs.
He has been a prominent face in recent meetings Mayawati had with SP chief Akhilesh Yadav, RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav and her birthday celebrations.
It is widely being believed in Uttar Pradesh that in giving prominence to Akash, she is trying to attract Dalit youths ahead of the Lok Sabha polls.
The BSP is often perceived as a 'closed door' party with little flexibility.
Accusing the "casteist and anti-Dalit" media of raising issues of nepotism, she said she was a disciple of Kanshi Ram and would give them a befitting reply.
“If anyone has problems with that, so be it, the party does not care,” Mayawati said.
She said her younger brother Anand Kumar and his family had selflessly struggled since 2003 to support her and the BSP but never sought a party position.
Anand Kumar was made the vice president of the BSP for "non political" affairs. But Mayawati said he stepped down from the post recently on his own to avoid allegations of nepotism.
(With inputs from PTI)