Syed Shahnawaz Hussain is a national spokesperson of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and a former cabinet minister. Hussain was born on December 12, 1968 in Bihar’s Supaul district and holds a Diploma in Engineering from Patna and Delhi. He completed his higher secondary from Williams High School, Supaul.
Hussain - youngest former Cabinet minister and present central election committee member - was elected to the 13th Lok Sabha in 1999 and was appointed Minister of State and held various portfolios such as food processing industries, youth affairs and sports and human resource development at different times. In 1999, a young Syed Shahnawaz Hussain created history for the BJP by winning the Lok Sabha election from Bihar's Muslim-dominated Kishanganj constituency. His victory was even more significant then as the BJP's other emerging Muslim face Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, the sitting MP from Rampur and a Union minister, had lost that election for the 13th Lok Sabha.
Hussain was only 30 at the time and was inducted into the Council of Ministers by the then prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. In the next two years, he was first elevated to the rank of the Minister of State for Coal (Independent Charge) and then to a Cabinet rank, with charge of the high-profile Ministry of Civil Aviation. At 32, he had the distinction of being the youngest ever Union Cabinet minister. He also held charge of the Ministry of Textiles.
He was given independent charge of the Ministry of Coal in 2001 and was elevated to the rank of a cabinet minister with Civil Aviation portfolio in September 2001, thereby becoming the youngest Cabinet Minister ever in the Government of India. Later, he held the Textiles portfolio as Cabinet Minister from 2003 to 2004. He is often referred to as 'The Original Youth leader'.
Hussain lost the 2004 general elections but was re-entered to the Lok Sabha in November 2006 in a by-election when he won the vacant seat of Bhagalpur in Bihar. He entered the 15th Lok Sabha again from Bhagalpur in 2009. He contested the Lok Sabha election in 2014 from Bhagalpur again but lost with a small margin. He contested his first election from Kishanganj in 1998 securing 2,30,210 votes in a losing cause.
In 2014, BJP leader Shahnawaz Hussain contested from Bhagalpur seat and lost out to Shailesh Kumar of the RJD. This time the seat has gone to JDU’s account as part of the NDA alliance. He is not in this electoral battle.