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Stamp of social engineering on Team Yogi

The Team Yogi has a mix of veterans, the young and the turncoats.

lucknow Updated: Mar 20, 2017 15:37 IST
HT Correspondent
Team Yogi
Cricketer-turned-politician Chetan Chauhan being sworn in as a minister in Lucknow on Sunday.(HT Photo)

Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath, 44, is a young captain heading a team that’s a mix of veterans, the young, turncoats and several wannabe captains.

Lets look at some of the new ministers-

Two cricketers of repute in Team Yogi give hope to Sportpersons

Chetan Chauhan

Cricketer-turned-politician Chetan Chauhan was an opening batsman who represented India in 40 Tests and seven ODIs. Born on July 21, 1947 in Bareilly, Chauhan is a two-time MP (1991 and 1998 from Amroha). He was also appointed the chairman of NIFT in June 2016. With Sunil Gavaskar, he formed one of India’s best opening partnerships in Test cricket. The pair added 3,000-plus Test runs, including 10-century opening partnerships. The duo averaged 53.75 runs for the opening wicket, the highest for an opening pair (minimum 1,200 runs) in Indian cricket history. Chauhan played his debut match against New Zealand in 1969 but was dropped after two Tests.

He was later selected to play against Australia but was dropped for three years after he failed to perform. He was included in the Indian team in 1972-73, owing to his stellar form in Ranji. In 1976–77, playing with a fractured jaw, he scored 158 against Haryana. Later that season, he scored 200 against Punjab and 147 versus Karnataka as well. Another hundred in Duleep Trophy earned him a place in the Indian team going to Australia after which began his most impressive period with the bat.

Mohsin Raza

A former first class cricketer, Mohsin Raza, 49, is the lone Muslim face in the BJP cabinet. He is known as a vocal critic of the Samajwadi Party and a staunch supporter of the BJP. In the past, he has accused SP patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav of using Muslims for political benefit. Raza joined the BJP in 2013 and is presently the spokesperson for the party. Despite being a fantastic all-rounder, Raza could play only two first class matches for Uttar Pradesh in his two-year career between 1987 and 1989.

He made five runs in two matches but took four wickets. Even after joining the BJP, an employee in the Uttar Pradesh State Electricity Board, Raza has been running Lucknow Cricket Academy as its founder secretary. He will have to become a member of the either house of the state legislature within six months. He is also heading the Uttar Pradesh Khiladi Sangarsh Morcha and has taken out processions against the sports authorities in the state during the Akhilesh Yadav government. Raza studied at Government Jubilee College and completed his graduation from Lucknow University. The names of Raza and his brothers figured in an alleged case of land grabbing in Safipur in Unnao recently.

Dynasty politics gets its share

Sandeep Singh

Grandson of Kalyan Singh, Sandeep Singh, 26, is said to be the youngest BJP candidate who won from Atrauli seat of Aligarh. He defeated sitting MLA Viresh Yadav (SP) and avenged defeat of his mother, Prem Lata who lost in 2012 while contesting as candidate of Jan Kranti Party. His father Rajveer Singh Raju is MP from Etah. Kalyan Singh had been MLA for ten times from Atrauli seat and this time his grandson Sandeep met success in his first run. Sandeep had passed MA in public relations from Leeds University in USA. He is a commerce graduate from Khalsa College of Delhi University. His entry marks third generation of BJP stalwart Kalyan Singh.

Ashutosh Tandon

Ashutosh aka Gopalji Tandon is the son of former urban development minister Lalji Tandon. Born in 1960, Ashutosh is known for his leadership and organisational skills. He was elected to UP Vidhan Sabha after the resignation of Kalraj Mishra who won Deoria parliamentary seat in 2014 general election. Ashutosh Tandon is a noted businessman in Chowk area.

Rana in, riot taint notwithstanding

Suresh Rana belongs to Thakur community and was elected MLA from Thanabhawan constituency of Shamli district in 2012 assembly election on BJP ticket. He was made an accused in the Muzaffarnagar riots of 2013 and booked under National Security Act ( NSA) on charges of instigating communal tension. He thereafter became BJP`s Hindu face in the region. Banking on his organisational and oratory skills, BJP gave him responsibilities of campaign during 2017 elections in the state.

He is believed to have close proximity with party`s national president Amit Shah. He was re-elected from Thanabhawan seat by defeating his BSP rival by a margin of over 16,000 votes and made a record of a candidate re-elected MLA on the seat after a period of 55 years.

Read more: 16 of 44 ministers in Yogi Adityanath’s council of ministers are from eastern UP