A Sangh pracharak and an associate of Jayaprakash Narayan, Kalraj Mishra, a veteran of Uttar Pradesh politics, is making his ministerial debut at the Centre.
71-year-old Mishra began his political career as a pracharak of RSS in Gorakhpur in eastern UP in 1963. As his association with the then Jan Sangh grew, he was appointed as organising secretary, Bharatiya Jana Sangh at Azamgarh Centre in 1968.
He became influenced with the JP Movement and worked as a convenor of ‘Sampurna Kranti’ (Total Revolution) started by Jayaprakash Narayan in eastern Uttar Pradesh in 1974.
He was a political detainee and was kept in the Deoria jail during Emergency.
As his political graph grew, the Masters degree holder from Kashi Vidhyapeeth in Varanasi was elected National President of the All India Janata Yuva Morcha, a youth organisation of Janata Party in 1978.
He was elected to the Rajya Sabha on three occasions — first in 1980, then 1986 and later in August 2001.
He has been chief of the BJP’s UP unit and a member of the state Legislative Council.
During BJP’s rule in Uttar Pradesh, he has been a Cabinet minister in the state government.
As a Minister of Public Works and Tourism, Mishra is credited with formulating the Road Development Policy in Uttar Pradesh. Several link roads were constructed in a number of villages under the Dindayal Link Road Scheme’.
He also led a campaign of making state highways pothole free. The campaign was carried forward by successive state governments.
As a minister in the state government, Mishra also worked with a committee for creation of Uttarakhand which was carved out of UP.
In the 2012 assembly elections, Mishra was elected from the Lucknow East seat. He contested the just-concluded Lok Sabha elections from Deoria and defeated his nearest BSP rival by a margin of 2.65 lakh votes.
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.
On Friday, the first question to the AAP was related to its “anti-national activities”.