Dreaded don-turned-legislator Mukhtar Ansari has once again managed to evade detention at Delhi's high security Tihar jail to be back in Uttar Pradesh.
Sentenced to ten years in prison under the provisions of the Terrorism and Disruptive Activities Prevention Act (TADA), Ansari was on Tuesday brought to state capital Lucknow in connection with a criminal case.
However, soon after his court appearance, he complained of chest pain and was admitted to the Lari Cardiac Centre of the King George's Medical College, recently upgraded to a university.
Political circles were agog with rumours that the mafia don had been brought to Lucknow to bail out the Mayawati government in the wake of the 14-member Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) pulling out of the ruling coalition.
Ansari is believed to have been instrumental in ensuring the support of several independents to Chief Minister Mayawati, whose government enjoys a simple majority. The Bharatiya Janaya Party is the other major partner in the coalition.
During a similar political crisis a couple of months ago, Ansari had managed to persuade nine of the 16 independents in the 403-member assembly to support Mayawati.
In return, he was reportedly transferred from the high-security Tihar jail to the Lucknow district jail on the plea that he had to be frequently brought to Lucknow at high risk and cost in connection with the several criminal cases pending against him.
His run of good luck came to an end after he got into a fracas with a photojournalist outside the office of a top police official in Lucknow. The resulting adverse publicity forced the government to shift Ansari back to Tihar.
This time too, the chief minister has claimed the support of nine independent MLAs, including Madan Bhaiya, who is wanted by the police and has been absconding for almost a year.
Sri Krishna, a senior IAS officer in the chief minister's office told mediapersons, "Vijay Singh, an independent MLA from Farrukhabad district named nine independent MLAs who have pledged support to the Mayawati government."At least seven of them have criminal records.