He has made 251 trips to jail but is not a ‘criminal’

Lucknow: He is one of the ‘oldest’ student leaders, contesting the ongoing Lok Sabha elections.

He is better known for making a record of sorts by going to jail more than 251 times in his 40-year-long career.

Meet Ravidas Mehrotra, the Samajwadi Party (SP) candidate from Lucknow Lok Sabha seat.

Mehrotra, 66, an alumnus of Lucknow University, has had a chequered career with more downs than ups but that has not lessened his zeal for social work.

About his jail record, Mehrotra says, “All the cases against, me are related to demonstrations and protests held by me during my university days and after that, when I joined politics. It speaks for the fact that I have been a fighter all along. There is not a single ‘criminal’ case against me.”

“The SP government will work for the downtrodden and those denied justice, be it Muslims, Dalits, Christians and especially Brahmins, who have been persecuted under the BJP government. We will make sure we bring ‘vikas’ to all, irrespective of caste, community and religion,” Mehrotra says and adds that, “We are standing by the claim that “roti, kapda sasta ho, dava padhai muft ho.”

Mehrotra feels that the promise of the restoration of the old pension scheme by the SP is his biggest advantage since the constituency comprises mainly the salaried class.

As he informs his voters about the schemes promised by his party if it comes to power, he says, “BJP has not done anything for the state’s development. The law-and-order situation is bad and women and children are not safe.”

Mehrotra will be facing Defence Minister Rajnath Singh in this electoral battle but that does not unnerve him.

“The biggest giants have fallen before the people and this is an election. You never know what can happen, “he says.


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