Elevated, Pathak establishes himself as key Brahmin face
BRAJESH PATHAK, a prominent student leader at Lucknow University, who was elected as the president of the students’ union in 1990, left the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in August 2016. Since then, he has established himself as a prominent Brahmin face of the BJP, leaving many old Brahmin leaders behind. He has been elevated to the position of UP deputy chief minister.
Born in Hardoi district in 1964, Pathak’s transition from a student leader to an active mainstream politician came when the BSP was trying to spread its base among the Brahmins in 2003 when its alliance with the BJP was broken and Mayawati had to resign. As an advocate, he had contacts with Satish Mishra, the Advocate General of UP during the Mayawati regime (2002-2003).
Pathak secured the BSP’s Lok Sabha ticket from Unnao in 2004 and won the seat. Ahead of the Lok Sabha polls in 2009, he resigned from its membership. He was elected to the Rajya Sabha in 2008 as a BSP candidate and served as the party’s deputy leader in the Upper House.
His Rajya Sabha tenure ended in 2014. As the BSP had suffered a loss in the 2012 Assembly polls and its vote base was also shrinking, Pathak joined the BJP in August 2016 when the saffron party was trying to spread its base with an eye on the 2017 UP Assembly polls. He established his relations with the RSS-BJP Brahmin network. The party fielded him from the Lucknow Central seat, and he won.
He was the Law Minister in Adityanath’s first government, and then he was also given Legislative, Justice and Rural Engineering Service departments. In this election, he won the Lucknow Cantt seat.
Fighting the perception that the Brahmins are unhappy with the BJP and its government after the encounter of gangster Vikas Dubey, Pathak worked very hard to convince his community members to stay with the saffron party. Besides, as a Law Minister, he appointed many Brahmins lawyers as government counsels in UP courts.