2024 LS polls: Many Allahabad Univ alumni test poll waters, keep alma mater’s fame intact - Hindustan Times
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2024 LS polls: Many Allahabad Univ alumni test poll waters, keep alma mater’s fame intact

By, Prayagraj
May 03, 2024 10:52 PM IST

Dharmendra Yadav, Neeraj Tripathi, Vinod Sonkar, Praveen Patel and Shubh Narayan Gautam are former students of the central university

Allahabad University (AU) is living up to its reputation as a nursery of politicians yet again as many of its former students are trying their luck in the ongoing 2024 Lok Sabha polls. Dharmendra Yadav, former Samajwadi Party MP from Mainpuri and Budaun, has been fielded from Azamgarh seat this time.

Allahabad University has a rich history in Indian politics. (For Representation)
Allahabad University has a rich history in Indian politics. (For Representation)

Having done his graduation from AU in 1999, LLB in 2002 and MA (political science) in 2004, he is among the young leaders in the poll fight vying to make it to the parliament again. Neeraj Tripathi, former additional advocate general of UP and son of former West Bengal governor and former UP Assembly speaker Keshari Nath Tripathi, who is in the fray as a BJP candidate from Allahabad seat, is also a former AU student. He did his BA from the university in 1989.

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BJP MP from Kaushambi Vinod Sonkar is another alumnus of the ‘Oxford of the East’ in the race this time. He is striving to retain his seat for third term in a row this time. Sonkar did his BA from AU in 1995. Another AU alumnus in electoral race is Praveen Patel, a two-time MLA from Phulpur seat of Prayagraj and BJP candidate for Phulpur parliamentary seat in 2024.

Patel won his first assembly election from Phulpur in 2007 on a BSP ticket. In 2012, Patel entered the fray again but lost to SP’s Syed Ahmed. Before the 2017 assembly elections, he joined the BJP and was named its candidate from the same seat.

He defeated SP’s Mansoor Alam by bagging 93,912 (42.24%) votes against 67,299 (30.27%) votes polled by Mansoor. Another AU pass out in the fray is Samajwadi Party’s candidate from Prayagraj’s Phulpur seat Amar Nath Singh Maurya who did his BA from AU in 1986 and LLB in 1989.

BSP candidate from Kaushambi Shubh Narayan Gautam, a retired deputy SP, is also a former AU student who passed his MA in 1984.

AU’s rich history in Indian politics

Allahabad University has given many a top politicians to the country, including a President and two prime ministers. They are former PMs VP Singh and Chandra Shekhar besides former chief ministers like ND Tiwari of UP and Madan Lal Khurana of Delhi to name just a few.

VP Singh, who became the 8th PM of India and also served as UP CM from 1980 to 82, was also an AU alumnus who served even as vice-president of AU Students’ Union during his college days. The 9th PM Chandra Shekhar did his post graduation in political science from AU in 1951.

Janeshwar Mishra or Chote Lohia is another big name to come from AU campus. Having done his BA from AU, Mishra won for the first time from Phulpur parliamentary seat in 1969 and went on to serve as Union minister of state for petroleum in 1977, for communication in 1989 and became a Rajya Sabha member in 1994. In 1996, he was appointed Union water resources minister.

Former UP CM Hemwati Nandan Bahuguna served as member of AU students’ union working committee before starting his political career that saw him serving as ministers at various levels between 1958 and 1979.

Murli Manohar Joshi, who did his MSc and later PhD from AU and also served as professor of physics later went on to serve as Union MHRD minister.

Arjun Singh, also a former MHRD minister, ex-Punjab governor and two-time chief minister of MP, was also a product of AU and was an active student leader during his college days.

Even Narayan Dutt Tiwari, former UP and Uttarakhand CM and Andhra Pradesh governor, did his studies at AU and even served as AU students’ union president in 1947.

India’s 9th President Dr Shankar Dayal Sharma was also a product of AU and was active in students politics during his student days here.

In 1977, he served as communication minister in the Indira Gandhi’s government and later served as governor of Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Punjab besides India’s Vice-President.

Senior BJP leader Rita Bahuguna Joshi is also a former AU student. After completing her education, she also served as a medieval and modern history professor of the university for years before quitting to devote herself fully to politics.

An AU alumna with a PhD from the university that she earned in 1981, Rita had won the Allahabad Lok Sabha seat as a BJP candidate in 2019.

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