He is a two-term legislator but the craze for selfies with him keeps getting stronger by the day.
Samajwadi Party (SP) candidate Ansar Ahmad, popularly known as Ansar Pahalwan, is contesting from his Phaphamau Assembly seat and is known as ‘Veerappan’ because his moustaches bear a striking resemblance to the late bandit.
“People also call me Veerapan’s twin brother and want to take selfies with me,” he says.
Ansar says that whenever he goes for canvassing, people ask him about the secret behind his moustaches and how he maintains it.
“I was fond of having unique moustaches since my young age and I even took care of them a lot. It has given me a distinct identity,” Ansar said, adding: “People started associating me with sandalwood smuggler Veerappan and sometimes call me his twin brother.”
Ansar had won the Phaphamau seat on an SP ticket in 2002 and 2012 Assembly elections, but lost to BJP candidate in 2017 from the same seat. He was minister of state from 2003 to 2007 in the Mulayam Singh government.
This time he is confident of winning back the seat.
“People are rooting for the SP in a big way this time,” he says.
Despite having a resemblance to Veerapan, Ansar is known to be generous and kind-hearted and serves the people of the area. He has a simple lifestyle and is accessible to the people.