Bharatiya Janata Party was criticised during the Uttar Pradesh assembly elections for not giving tickets to Muslims. After having come to power in the state with over 300 non-Muslim legislators, BJP has inducted its first Muslim in UP cabinet – Mohsin Raza.
It is being said that Raza has been accommodate as the minority face in the Cabinet to bring about a balance. Dressed in his characteristic saffron robe, firebrand BJP leader Yogi Adityanath, was sworn in as 21st chief minister of the state on March 19.
Who is Mohsin Raza?
- A cricketer, socialite, winner of a beauty pageant and an actor, Raza is not a big name in politics, activism or social work but is a common face in the social circuit of Lucknow.
- The saffron party has projected him as its Muslim poster boy in UP. Raza joined the BJP in 2013 and is currently the spokesperson for the party.
- He is married to Fozia Sarwat Fatima, who belongs to the prominent Muslim family and is related to the BJP leader and Manipur governor, Najma Heptullah.
- Raza is a product of the MRF Pace Foundation at Chennai and an ex-Ranji Trophy player. He was crowned ‘Prince Lucknow’ in the year 1995, and also acted in the famous Doordarshan serial “Neem Ka Ped”.
- He is from a family of zamindars in Unnao’s Safipur. His family has been traditionally loyal to the Congress. Raza too was associated with the party for sometime after he was made chairman of Congress’ sports cell. But he quit the party following internal issues.
- To set an independent foothold for himself, in 2010 Raza floated an outfit called “Safipur Vikas Manch” and later joined BJP before the Lok Sabha elections of 2014. He became the spokesperson for BJP last year and enjoys good rapport with Rajnath Singh and his son Pankaj Singh.
- He has been a very vocal critic of Samajwadi Party founder Mulayam Singh Yadav. Raza has accused Mulayam Singh Yadav of using Muslims for his own political benefits.