Underworld don-turned politician Mukhtar Ansari on Thursday joined the Bahujan Samaj Party along with his brothers Sigbatullah Ansari, Afzal Ansari and his son Abbas Ansari, ANI reported. BSP chief Mayawati said Mukhtar Ansari will contest the upcoming Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections from the Mau Sadar constituency, while Sigbatullah Ansari and Abbas Ansari will stand in the Mohammadabad Gohna and Ghosi constituencies.

Defending her move, Mayawati said the accusations against Mukhtar Ansari – who is currently jailed – had not been proved so far. “There have not been any criminal elements in [the] BSP, but if some people want to improve under the BSP umbrella, we [will] give them a chance,” Mayawati said.

Last year, Mukhtar Ansari’s political outfit Quami Ekta Dal had merged with Samajwadi Party, much to the opposition of Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav. The merger had been a bone of contention between the chief minister and his uncle, SP state unit president Shivpal Singh Yadav.

Ansari had been expelled from the BSP for “criminal activities” after the 2009 Lok Sabha elections.