Home India Politics Naqvi: A Muslim, well read and loyal to the party (Profile)

Naqvi: A Muslim, well read and loyal to the party (Profile)

Lucknow : The best known Muslim face of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi has been the saffron camp’s poster boy for Uttar Pradesh.

The 57-year-old post-graduate in mass communications has been known for his media one-liners and punch lines against his political adversaries, especially in his one-time political bastion of Rampur.

He often peppers his statements and bytes to television channels with couplets and has penned two books — Syah and Danga.

After a series of failures when he unsuccessfully tried his luck in the assembly elections, he won the Rampur parliamentary seat against the might of the erstwhile Rampur royal family and dislodged the Congress in the 1998 Lok Sabha elections.

He was rewarded with a berth in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government and named minister of state for information and broadcasting.

“The new entrant from the state is a well-known public figure. Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi has been our senior leader for very long and I admire his guts, clarity of purpose and plain talk,” said state BJP spokesman Vijay Bahadur Pathak, adding Naqvi’s knowledge has benefited him many a time.

A Scorpion, Naqvi was jailed in Allahabad, his birth place, during his student days during the Emergency.

He is currently a Rajya Sabha member from Uttar Pradesh. His USP, insiders say, is both his being a Muslim and also his unwavering loyalty to the party. The only exception being his comment that “very soon Dawood could also find a way into the BJP” in the run-up to the 2014 Lok Sabha polls following the induction of JD-U leader Sabir Ali into the party.

Many feel this unsavoury remark cost him a ministerial berth when Narendra Modi was sworn in as the prime minister May.