Strong OBC face from Azamgarh is BJP’s Governor pick for election-bound Bihar

Maulshree Seth
Chauhan is MLA from Ghosi Assembly seat in Mau

With the appointment of Fagu Chauhan, 71, a prominent OBC leader from eastern Uttar Pradesh, as the next Governor of Bihar, which will go to Assembly polls next year, the BJP clearly wants to send a strong message to backward castes in Bihar.

Chauhan is MLA from Ghosi Assembly seat in Mau and hails from adjoining Azamgarh district. He is also chairman of the Uttar Pradesh Commission for Backward Classes.

Chauhan is considered one of the strong OBC faces of the party in the region surrounding Azamgarh and Mau. A six-time MLA from Ghosi Assembly constituency, Chauhan was first elected in 1985 from the seat as part of Dalit Majdoor Kisan Party of Chaudhary Charan Singh. In 1991, Chauhan had won from the seat as Janta Party candidate. In 1996 and 2002, Chauhan contested and won from Ghosi as BJP candidate and became a minister in both Ram Prakash Gupta as well as Rajnath Singh-led BJP governments in the state then.

In 2002, when the BJP formed government in alliance with BSP in the state, he was made a minister. In 2006, however, he parted ways with BJP and joined BSP.

In 2007, Chauhan became BSP MLA from Ghosi and was made revenue minister by Mayawati in her government. However, he lost the election to SP candidate Sudhakar Singh in 2012. In 2014, Chauhan made a comeback to the BJP and contested the 2017 Assembly election as BJP candidate from Ghosi Assembly seat and won, defeating Abbas Ansari, son of gangster-turned politician Mukhtar Ansari.

Although there were talks that he may be made a minister in the Yogi Adityanath-led BJP government in the state, he was instead named as chairman of the Uttar Pradesh Commission for Backward Classes.

With the appointment of Chauhan as Bihar Governor, Uttar Pradesh has now sent seven Governors serving in different states presently. President Ram Nath Kovind also belongs to UP.

Among the governors hailing from UP are Lalji Tandon, who was Governor of Bihar and has now been made Governor of Madhya Pradesh; Kalraj Mishra, Governor of Himachal Pradesh; Satya Pal Mallik, Governor of Jammu and Kashmir, Kalyan Singh, Governor of Rajasthan; Baby Rani Maurya, Governor of Uttarakhand and B D Mishra, Governor of Arunachal Pradesh. Outgoing West Bengal governor, Kesari Nath Tripathi, also hails from Uttar Pradesh. On Saturday, he was replaced by Jagdeep Dhankar of Rajasthan.