Coffee with HT: UP finance minister’s maths woven around verses

LUCKNOW: Uttar Pradesh finance minister Suresh Khanna can recall poetic verses with as much ease as the number of times he took ill in his life or his victory margins since 1989!

“Barring 1978, 1999 and 2018, I didn’t ever run even fever,” said the 70-year-old BJP veteran, who got a law degree from the Lucknow University but chose to go against the family’s advice of becoming a lawyer. He briefly dabbled in journalism and even got two newspapers registered before he realised his calling in life.

At a ‘Coffee with HT’ programme at the Hindustan Times office, Khanna, the BJP veteran who has been winning uninterrupted from Shahjahanpur assembly segment since 1989, took queries on diverse subjects, from his love for poetry, to how difficult was it to meet people’s expectations in the budget that he presented in the assembly on Thursday.

“There were 130 pre-poll commitments we made to the people. The first budget seeks to address 97 of them. The rest would be met too. This is just the beginning,” said Khanna who also headed the BJP’s manifesto committee.

A quick learner, in four years he avenged his loss in 1985 to emerge a winner from Shahjahanpur for the first time on a BJP ticket and hasn’t looked back since.

Khanna’ first became a lawmaker in 1989, the year when the Congress was last in power in UP and on way to his nine consecutive poll wins since, he has witnessed political rise of the Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party, the era of…

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