JJP fields social entrepreneur, IIM-A graduate from Gurgaon
In a move that yet again demonstrates Jannayak Janta Party’s (JJP) preference for academically well-qualified candidates, the party on Monday announced Mewat resident Mehmood Khan as its face for the Gurgaon parliamentary seat.
A social entrepreneur, Khan, 64, worked in the corporate world for nearly four decades after which he moved back to Mewat to work at the grassroots level.
Khan retired as the global leader of innovation at Unilever-London in 2009, after 27 years with the company. After hanging up his corporate boots, he returned to his village Nai Nangla to turn it around and give back. He runs a non-profit organisation in Mewat which is working towards improving rural education and development.
The lone Muslim candidate from Gurgaon, Khan will be pitted against Congress’ Capt (retd) Ajay Singh Yadav and BJP’s Rao Inderjit Singh.
Terming his entry into electoral politics a “natural progression”, Khan said, “I was approached by the party. We held discussions and I realized that this was the right opportunity to step in, especially looking at what’s unfolding across the country. I believe in both dharma and karma, and decided to take it up as a responsibility.”
He added that his focus would be on turning Gurugram into a world-class city led by innovations, supported by the two regions of Mewat and Rewari. “Gurugram is the corporate headquarter of India, with 50% of the CEOs living here. However, even these big corporate CEOs get stuck when there is little rain. Gurugram has been turned into the world’s most-polluted city. These crucial issues can only be addressed if the gap in governance is plugged, something that I seek to do.”
Son of a farmer, he completed his schooling from government schools and later did his BSc Honours in agriculture from Hisar. He also went on to do a Post-Graduate Programme in Management from the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad in 1975-77.
He plans to optimally combine his learnings from the corporate world and his outreach among the locals of the region to give a fillip to inclusive development.
“I will focus on sustainability to turn Gurugram into a model city for the country. There are more than 800 villages in Gurgaon and with a sustainable approach, my focus will be on ensuring that living becomes enjoyable for everyone. Reducing rural distress will be an important concern for me,” said Khan.
Banking on Khan’s credible public image and local roots, JJP seeks to win votes from both Mewat and Gurugram district. “He may be new to politics but he has a positive appeal among the public. He is a fit candidate for the region and will also benefit from his efforts on the ground,” said state chief Nishan Singh of JJP, which is contesting its first Lok Sabha elections this year in alliance with the AAP in Haryana