Mahendra Nath Pandey, who represents Chandauli in the 16th Lok Sabha, took oath as Minister of State at a function at the Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi on Tuesday. He is among the three new faces from Uttar Pradesh to be inducted into the Union Council of Ministers.
His induction is seen in the light of the assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh early next year. Pandey is a Brahmin and won the 2014 Lok Sabha for the first time. The BJP had won 71 seats from the state in the last elections.
Pandey is considered close to both Shah and Modi and his induction is aimed at reviving support of Brahmins voters
who drifted towards the BSP in 2007 and 2012 assembly polls. Pandey is the MP from Chandauli, but he is chairperson of the vigilance and monitoring committee of development projects for Modi’s Varanasi Lok Sabha
Pandey had been BJP MLA from Saidpur in 1991 and 1996 and he was minister in governments led by Kalyan Singh and Rajnath Singh. With an ABVP background, Pandey had been BJP’s state general secretary in the past.
With inputs from Lalmani Verma