Krishna Raj, BJP’s Dalit face in UP
New Delhi, July 5 (IANS) Krishna Raj, 49, one of the new ministers in the Narendra Modi government, is from the Pasi community, the dominant section among the Dalits in Uttar Pradesh.
Her induction as a Minister of State is expected to provide the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) with a strong face to woo Dalit voters in the run up to the assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh.
The BJP is largely deprived of a Scheduled Caste leader at a time when the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) will be a major opponent in the 2017 polls.
Krishna Raj’s closeness to the RSS and ability to win her assembly seat (Mohammadi) both in 2007 to 2012 is one of the reasons she was picked for a place in the central ministry.
Mohammadi is a small town about 50 km from her hometown Shahjahanpur.
Krishna Raj defeated Umed Singh Kashyap of BSP, husband of the late bandit Phoolan Devi, by over 2.35 lakh votes in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.
She lost the 2009 Lok Sabha battle from Shahjahanpur to Mithilesh Kumar of the Samajwadi Party narrowly. Internal politics was largely blamed for that defeat.
Krishna Raj is a close aide of former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Kalyan Singh, who along with Narendra Modi picked her to be a star campaigner to address election rallies in Ruhelkhand and Awadh regions of Uttar Pradesh.
A former social worker and a mother of two, Krishna Raj comes from a humble background. Her husband is a bank employee and she is the first and only one involved in active politics from her family.