An MBA grad sparks the succession row in Mayawati's BSP
- Sources in the BSP said Akash had accompanied Mayawati to Lucknow on January 10 and stayed with her to celebrate her birthday on January 15.
- He featured prominently in all official photo ops — not just with Akhilesh on Tuesday but also when the RJD’s Tejashwi Yadav met Mayawati on Sunday night.
While there is a sudden spurt in public appearances of Mayawati, the person who is arresting people’s attention is 24-year-old Akash Anand, standing besides her in most photographs. Akash is her nephew, the son of her brother Anand Singh, who served as BSP vice-president till 2017.
The photos also set speculations rife about Akash, an MBA from London, being assigned an important political role. But, senior leaders ruled out any such development, citing Mayawati’s announcement in May last year that no family member of the national president would be given a post in the party. In the past, she even had Anand Singh removed from the post of national vice-president to refute charges of promoting dynasty politics in BSP.
BSP sources said Akash had accompanied Mayawati to Lucknow on January 10 and stayed with her to celebrate her birthday on January 15. He featured prominently in all official photo ops. “Akash handles his father’s business and it will be incorrect to read anything political into his visit. His last visit to Lucknow was probably in April last year,” said a party member.
However, Akash and his father have made several public appearances with Mayawati in the past. Sources indicated that the nephew, who was initially being groomed by Mayawati for a bigger role in the party before she announced that no family member would be given a party position, may be playing a part in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.
“His first official public appearance with Mayawati was in 2016 when he accompanied her to Saharanpur. He was also on stage with her during a rally in Meerut in February 2017. In October 2017, when Anand was still the party vice-president, their names were mentioned in a press release for the first time,” said party sources.
He has a Facebook page ‘Akash Anand-BSP’ that was created in September 2017. The closed group has seen activity pick up over the past few weeks with 1,427 members out of a total 8,467 added in the past 30 days.