Shahnawaz Hussain takes oath as member of Bihar council

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Patna, Jan 29 (PTI) Senior BJP leader Syed Shahnawaz Hussain and Bihar minister Mukesh Sahni were on Friday sworn in as members of the state legislative council.

They were administered the oath of office by Acting Chairman of the council Awadhesh Narain Singh.

Several dignitaries, most notable being Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, were present on the occasion.

Both Hussain and Sahni were elected, unopposed, in by- polls necessitated by election of BJP leaders Sushil Kumar Modi and Binod Narayan Jha to the Rajya Sabha and the assembly respectively.

The partys choice of Hussain, a former union minister and multiple term Lok Sabha member, has generated much curiosity in the political circles here.

Arguably the most notable Muslim face of a party which is often accused of being biased against the minorities, Hussain is expected to get a 'big responsibility' in the state where BJP has outperformed Nitish Kumars JD(U) for the first time but lacks leaders of stature who can hold their own.

Sushil Modi, who happens to be the tallest BJP leader from Bihar in his generation, recently dropped hints of the partys strategy behind shifting Hussain to state politics.

'His presence will be of immense help for the party especially in the Seemanchal region', Modi had said referring to the densely populated Muslim-dominated north-eastern part of Bihar.

Hussain had made his debut in 1999 Lok Sabha elections from Kishanganj, which falls in Seemanchal.

The region now stands sharply polarised with the entry of Asaduddin Owaisis AIMIM which bagged five seats in the assembly elections. PTI NAC SNS SNS