Shahnawaz shunted to state politics

New Delhi / Patna

Former Union Minister Syed Shahnawaz Hussain, 52, a member of the BJP's Central Election Committee (CEC) and a national spokesman, was on Saturday named as the party’s candidate to be a member of the Legislative Council (MLC).

No reason was ascribed for Hussain, who was a Muslim face of the BJP, being shunted suddenly from the national politics to the state politics. The only prominent Muslim face in the party besides him is Union Minority Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqwi.

Only last month, Hussain was deputed by the party to oversee the district development council (DDC) elections in J&K.

The BJP also announced its 6 candidates for the biennial elections to the Uttar Pradesh Legislative Council and they include Dr Dharmveer Prajapati, Ashwani Tyagi and Kunwar Manvendra Singh, who was thrice a Congress MP.

Former Union minister in the AB Vajpayee cabinet, Hussain, will be the BJP candidate for the byelection for the Bihar Vidhan Parishad. Hussain will file his nomination paper on Monday.

A vacancy was created after the resignation of Sushil Kumar Modi, who has been elected to Rajya Sabha. For the second seat, Bihar’s animal husbandry minister, Mukesh Sahni, the Vikassheel Insaan Party president, would be the BJP nominee. Vinod Narayan Jha, the former public health department minister, had resigned following his election to Vidhan Sabha in November.

There is no minority member elected to the state assembly from the NDA in the election in November. Shahnawaj may be inducted as a cabinet minister in the Nitish Kumar cabinet, sources said in Patna.

Shanawaz had first entered the Lok Sabha from the Kishanganj constitutency in 1999 and was made the minister of state for coal and later promoted as a cabinet minister with the civil aviation portfolio when he was 32. He had lost the LS election from Bhagalpur twice and since then he was not a member of either state legislature or Parliament. He was elected in 2006 by-election and later in the 2009 general election from Bhagalpur.

Mukesh Sahni, who heads the VIP, lost the 2020 November assembly election.

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