Three BHU alumni to contest Lok Sabha Elections as BJP candidates
All the three candidates have one thing in common that they entered and succeeded in mainstream politics via BHU’s student union politics.Updated: Apr 13, 2019 08:42 IST
Hindustan Times, Varanasi
Three former students of the Banaras Hindu University (BHU) are contesting the Lok Sabha elections as Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidates from politically crucial seats of east Uttar Pradesh.
BJP leaders Manoj Sinha, Mahendra Nath Pandey and Virendra Singh Mast will be contesting from Ghazipur, Chandauli and Ballia seats respectively.
Of these seats, Ballia is currently represented by Bharat Singh who is also an alumnus of BHU.
All the three candidates have one thing in common that they entered and succeeded in mainstream politics via BHU’s student union politics.
Singh served as BHU student union president in 1978 after which he entered mainstream politics while Sinha was elected BHU students’ union president in 1982.
Sinha studied civil engineering at IIT-BHU and secured BTech and MTech degrees from the institute.
Prof Kaushal Kishor Mishra, who teaches politics at BHU, said: “Sinha was a brilliant scholar. Though he was a student of engineering, his penchant for politics was an open secret. Because of his interest in politics, he came in touch with Prof Suresh Awasthi who passed away a few years ago. Prof Awasthi guided Sinha into politics and shaped him as a politician.”
“He can be called the political mentor of Manoj Sinha. He won BHU students union election in 1982 and his victory helped the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) to consolidate itself in BHU. Later, Sinha joined mainstream politics,” he added.
“Sinha’s interest in politics was so deep that he turned down a lucrative offer from a company which he received soon after completing his engineering from IIT-BHU,” Prof Mishra added.
Rajkishore Singh, a long-time friend, said: “Sinha comes from a well-off family. During college days, he was quite popular as a students’ union leader. Even now as a parliamentarian, he is popular among the locals of Ghazipur.”
Sinha won from Ghazipur in 1996, 1999 and 2014. Subedar Singh, who also won BHU student union election in 1984 and is an acquaintance of Sinha, said: “He (Sinha) is leader by luck. What he wished, fortune brought it to him.”
“He is fond of delicious food, especially the one cooked at home,” Singh added.
Mahendra Nath Pandey, who did his post-graduation and PhD from BHU, was elected the general secretary of BHU students union in 1977.
Pandey started his career in politics under the tutelage of Prof Awasthi and was guided by journalist Ram Bahadur Rai.
He won assembly elections from Saidpur in 1991 and 1996. He also remained minister in the Kalyan Singh government.
Virendra Singh Mast, BJP MP from Bhadohi, was elected in 2014. This time BJP has fielded him from Ballia.
Mast, who completed his graduation from BHU, is national president of BJP’s farmers wing.
First Published: Apr 13, 2019 08:42 IST