Interestingly, BJP had not fielded any Muslim candidate in the Assembly polls.
The BJP with the inclusion of Raza in the Cabinet has tried to strike a balance after it was criticised for not fielding Muslims in the elections. But, firebrand leader Yogi Adityanath, who took oath as Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister on Sunday, has included a lone Muslim leader in his cabinet - Mohsin Raza. His first class cricketing career ran between 1987-89.
The saffron party has projected him as its Muslim poster boy in UP.
Raza is married to Fozia Sarwat Fatima and belongs to a zamindar (wealthy landowners) family that hails from Safipur town in Uttar Pradesh's Unnao district. He has played several Ranji Trophy matches for the state.
Raza has alo participated in beauty pageants and in 1995 he won the Prince of Lucknow crown. Then, in 2010, Raza floated his own political outfit by the name of Safipur Vikas Manch but that did not prove to be a successful endeavour. But he quit the party following internal issues.
In 2014, he joined the BJP and became a spokesperson for the party.
Raza has not contested the elections. He became the spokesperson for BJP past year and enjoys good rapport with Rajnath Singh and his son Pankaj Singh. His family has been traditionally loyal to the Congress. Raza too was associated with the party for sometime after he was made chairman of Congress' sports cell.