Lucknow, Oct. 6: Samajwadi Party's Uttar Pradesh president Shivpal Yadav on Thursday announced Mukhtar Ansari's Quami Ekta Dal's (QED) merger with his party, three months after Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav raised objection that he did not want people like Ansari in the party.
He announced the merger at a press conference in Lucknow today. Shivpal said he had the blessings of party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav.
Ansari, an MLA from Uttar Pradesh's Mau district, is in jail in connection with a murder case.
Earlier in June, Akhilesh said, "Mukhtar Ansari will not be welcome in the party. We don't want such people in the party."
Shivpal said the decision to merge with the QED had been taken after consultations with the SP brass.
The move came weeks after a bruising fight for influence between Shivpal and Akhilesh.
SP hopes that the merger will help it tap the Muslim vote bank in eastern Uttar Pradesh, especially in Ghazipur, Mau and Varanasi, ahead of the next year's assembly elections.
Akhilesh had taken a similar tough stand on the inclusion of mafia-turned-politician DP Yadav before the 2012 elections.
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