UP deputy CM-designate Keshav Prasad Maurya is BJP's OBC trump card

BJP's decision to appoint its UP chief Keshav Prasad Maurya as deputy CM not just consolidates the non-Yadav OBC outreach of the party that bore fruit in the assembly election, but when added to the Hindutva hardliner image of Yogi Adityanath, it might as well be an indication of the times to come as Maurya himself is a VHP man.

Touted as the tea-seller, who made it to the top of the political echelon in line with Modi's own vision of politics, Maurya, the sitting MP from Phulpur near Allahabad, also has several criminal cases against him. Born in 1969 in Sirathu in Kausambhi district, Maurya studied Hindi literature at the Hindu Sahitya Sammelan in Allahabad.

Hailing from a humble farming family, he also participated in the Ram Janmabhoomi movement. The factors that went into is elevation apart from the OBC-MBC support that the party got these elections, were his humble beginning and deep association with the RSS.

He has held the posts of nagar karyawah and VHP pranth sanghathan mantri, among others. While being active in the gauraksha movements, Maurya has been the regional coordinator of the backward class cell and BJP Kisan Morcha.

He has contested the 2002, 2007 and 2012 assembly elections and was the sitting MLA from Sirathu before being elected MP from Phulpur in 2014 with a thumping five lakh votes (over 52 per cent). Maurya belongs to the backward Kushwaha caste.

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