In a curious political development, former Union minister and BJP’s national spokesperson Syed Shahnawaz Hussain today filed his nomination for by-elections to the Bihar Legislative Council in what many say as his “demotion”. For the past over two decades, Hussain had been a known face in the national politics and he never contested any elections for the state.

But today Hussain filed his nomination from the seat vacated by his colleague and Rajya Sabha Member Sushil Kumar Modi, which roughly has only three-year tenure left. This means Hussain will have a truncated tenure to serve, instead of a full tenure of six years.

The term of the seat vacated by Modi expires on 6 May 2024. There are speculations that Hussain could be inducted as a minister in the Nitish Kumar-led NDA government in the state and could also be used as a prominent Muslim face to lure the minority class people to the party.

The development assumes significance in the light of AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi focussing his attention in the Muslimdominated Seemanchal region of Bihar.

According to experts, Hussain lost support of the top BJP leadership for his past move to blame the month-long Gujarat riots for party’s disastrous performance in 2004 LS polls. “There were clear signs that the Gujarat riots had hampered the party’s results in the state (Gujarat) where the party’s tally went down from 20 to 14 of the total 26,” was how Hussain had told the media soon after the result of the 2004 LS poll results came out.

He added that the implication of the Gujarat riots was felt nationwide as the minority community got alienated.Current Prime Minister Narendra Modi was the chief minister of Gujarat when the month-long riots had taken place. It is also said Hussain belongs to LK Advani camp.

Last month, former Bihar’s deputy chief minister Modi in a similar fashion was shifted to national politics with a berth in the Rajya Sabha. For the past 15 years, Junior Modi who never faced the voters in the elections had been serving as a deputy to chief minister Nitish Kumar.

It is said he enjoyed very good rapport with the chief minister and this time again the latter too wanted him continue as his deputy again but the BJP was not interested.