LUCKNOW: Brajesh Pathak, who was appointed Deputy Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh on Friday, has been projected as a prominent Brahmin face in the BJP.
Born on June 25, 1954 in Mallawan, Hardoi, Pathak was active in politics since his student days and the former President of Lucknow University Students’ Union.
After leaving the Bahujan Samaj party, he joined the BJP in 2016 and served as justice minister in the outgoing cabinet.
Political analysts say Pathak was projected by the BJP as a prominent Brahmin face ahead of the assembly elections and by appointing him deputy chief minister, the party gave preference to Brahmins.
At a time when leaders like Swami Prasad Maurya, Dara Singh Chauhan and Dharam Singh Saini who came to the BJP from BSP left the party before the elections, Pathak remained loyal to the saffron party.
He launched a fierce attack on the opposition Samajwadi party after its leader Akhilesh Yadav called the BJP an “anti-Brahmin” party.
Analysts say the deputy chief minister post is a “reward gift” given to Pathak by the BJP.
Keshav Prasad Maurya is the state’s other Deputy Chief Minister.
Pathak received his Bachelor of Laws (LLB) from Lucknow University.
He became active in student politics at Lucknow University and was elected vice-president of the students’ union in 1989.
Subsequently, he was elected president of the union in 1990.
Pathak was nominated by the Congress party in the 2002 Assembly elections in the Mallawan constituency of Hardoi, but was defeated by a narrow margin of around 150 votes.
About two years later, he left Congress and joined the BSP.
In the 2004 Lok Sabha elections, the BSP nominated him as the candidate for the Unnao parliamentary constituency and he won.
After that, BSP chief Mayawati sent him to the Rajya Sabha in 2009.
However, when he was again declared as the Unnao BSP candidate in the 2014 general election, he faced defeat.
He then joined the BJP in 2016 and was nominated by the Lucknow Central Assembly constituency party the following year.
Pathak won the seat by beating SP leader and former Uttar Pradesh minister Ravidas Mehrotra.
He was appointed Minister of Justice in the government led by Yogi Adityanath on March 19, 2017.