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Lok Sabha pro-tem Speaker Virendra Khatik drives a scooter, shuns security

With seven LS stints from Sagar and Tikamgarh, Virendra Kumar Khatik wields considerable influence in all of Bundelkhand.

Updated: Jun 12, 2019, 12.12 PM IST
Kumar bagged over 6.72 lakh votes in the recent Lok Sabha election.
BHOPAL: Pro tem Speaker Virendra Kumar Khatik, a seven-time MP from Tikamgarh constituency in Madhya Pradesh, is a prominent Dalit leader of BJP, who still loves to sit in his bicycle shop in Sagar to attend to old customers or roam his constituency on a battered, vintage scooter.

Kumar, 65, was MoS-women and child development and minorities affairs in the first Narendra Modi government. Now, as pro tem Speaker he will administer oath of office to the newly-elected Lok Sabha members and preside over the first meeting of Lok Sabha, in which the Speaker will be elected.

Kumar bagged over 6.72 lakh votes in the recent Lok Sabha election, defeating Congress’s Kiran Ahirwar by over 3.46 lakh votes.

A staunch RSS activist, Virendra Kumar was jailed for 16 months during Emergency. He first entered Lok Sabha from Sagar constituency in 1996. He was undefeated in Sagar in the four Lok Sabha elections between 1996 and 2004, when he moved to Tikamgarh which he won three times. A tireless Dalit activist, he is seen as a successor to SC stalwarts like Thawar Chand Gehlot and Satyanarayan Jatia.

With seven LS stints from Sagar and Tikamgarh, he wields considerable influence in all of Bundelkhand.

Kumar used to run a cycle shop in Sagar during the 19080s while actively working for ABVP and has always maintained a low profile. He still roams around in his constituency on a scooter or is seen hitchhiking. He shuns all kinds of security paraphernalia.

Kumar is passionate about cow protection and is closely associated with the successful management and functioning of the Gau Seva Sangh Sanstha in Sagar. He has opened a library for Bundelkhand students, helps set up and develop orphanages, deaf-and-mute schools and old age homes.
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