Kalraj Mishra, who quit Narendra Modi Cabinet in 2017, is now head of parliamentary standing committee on defence
BJP leader Kalraj Mishra credits himself for improving the organisational base in Uttar Pradesh, and for creating a 'strong Hindu wave' of kar sevaks in the state for the creation of Ram Mandir in Ayodhya
Seventy-seven-year-old BJP MP from Deoria, Uttar Pradesh, Kalraj Mishra was recently appointed as the head of the parliamentary standing committee on defence replacing former Uttarkhand chief minister Bhuvan Chandra Khanduri.
Even though his appointment is seen more as a consolation prize for the senior BJP leader who had resigned from the Narendra Modi cabinet ahead of its reshuffle in 2017, he will expectedly be making the most of his new role. Here's all you need to know about the senior BJP leader.
Mishra had served as the Union Minister of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises in the Modi cabinet. According to Hindustan Times, "he has the distinction of introducing 16 Private Member's Bill in the Upper House, including the one to regulate the sale of acid and providing compulsory medical treatment to people in emergencies".
A prominent Brahmin leader from Uttar Pradesh, Mishra is known for his strong organisational skills and soft-spoken nature and claims to have helped mobilise kar sevaks ahead of the Babri Masjid demolition.
Mishra has been the president of BJP's Uttar Pradesh unit four times, often credits himself for building the BJP's strong base of cadres in Uttar Pradesh.
Mishra was born on 1 July, 1941, in an agriculturist Brahmin family at village Malikpur in Ghazipur district of Uttar Pradesh. His father Pandit Ramagya was a headmaster in a primary school and is said to be an RSS supporter. Mishra, naturally, became an active member of RSS at an early age. After completing his post graduation from Kashi Vishwavidyalaya, Mishra married Satyawati in 1963. He has two children, daughter Hemlata and son Amit Mishra, who is co-convenor of BJP's IT, websites and social media.
According to his official Facebook page, Mishra's first appointment as an RSS pracharak was in Gorakhpur city. In 1968, he was sent to Azamgarh, as an organising secretary of Bhartiya Jana Sangh, where he worked for the party in Gujarat elections 1972.
In 1974 when the Bihar Movement led by Jay Prakash Narayan reached Uttar Pradesh, Mishra was appointed as the coordinator of the movement in eastern Uttar Pradesh. He was held captive in Bhalauni of Deoria district for 19 months during Emergency.
In 1978, after Chandra Shekhar became the president of the Janata Party, Mishra was nominated to the Rajya Sabha and was elected successfully. In January 1979, he was nominated as the President of Rashtriya Yuva Morcha, and on 11 August 1979, he became the coordinator of Rashtriya Yuva Samanvaya Samiti. After the formation of BJP, he was appointed as the state organising secretary and from then till August 1991 he was the general secretary — organisation of Uttar Pradesh. Mishra was also the general secretary of the Loktantrik Morcha (1982-83) which featured Mulayam Singh Yadav as the president.
Mishra often credits himself for improving the organisational base in Uttar Pradesh, and for creating a "strong Hindu wave" of kar sevaks in the state for the creation of Ram Mandir in Ayodhya, and in the formation of the first BJP government in the state during the 1991 elections.
He was the state president of the BJP in 1992 when kar sevaks demolished a portion of the Babri Masjid. He went on to retain the post for several more years.
As a minister, he handled the state public works department in the BJP-BSP government that came to power in Uttar Pradesh in 1997.
In 2002, while working towards mobilising support for his party, Mishra was elected unopposed to the Rajya Sabha, but soon resigned from the post of state party president following disputes within the party. Over the next few years, he continued to work as a parliamentarian, while also taking responsibilities as the in-charge of Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Delhi. He was also nominated as a national vice-president of the BJP by Nitin Gadkari.
He contested from the Lucknow-East Assembly seat in 2012 and won. In the 2014 General Elections to Lok Sabha, Mishra contested from Deoria constituency and won.
Mishra is said to have a key interest in sports and has served as the chairman of Uttar Pradesh Sport Promotion cell and archery.
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