The Bharatiya Janata Party on Saturday announced the name of former Union minister, Syed Shahnawaz Husain, as the party’s candidate for the Legislative Council election in Bihar to be held on Jan 28. The seat got vacated after the election of former Bihar deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi, as the Rajya Sabha member last month.
In fact two Council seats got vacated. The other was of Vinod Narayan Jha who got elected as the MLA last November.
Shahnawaz became the Union minister of state for food processing at the age of 31 in 1999 after getting elected as the BJP candidate from Kishanganj Lok Sabha seat that year. However, the then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, elevated him to the cabinet rank minister in September 2001. He got the portfolio of Civil Aviation. However, he could not get elected in 2014 and thus was not inducted into the Narendra Modi cabinet. He lost from Bhagalpur seat to RJD’s Bolu Mandal then.
In 2019 he did not get ticket for the Lok Sabha.
Though BJP spokesman Sanjay Mayukh tried to downplay the general impression that it was a sort of demotion for Shahnawaz, independent political observers are of the view that the party has certainly cut his stature. The BJP leaders are now claiming that the party may decide to induct him in the Nitish Kumar cabinet. Even if he is made the minister in the state cabinet, the Bihar watchers opine that it would amount to an insult to a person who had served as a cabinet minister two decades back.