After a gap, Ashwani Kumar comes back as minister

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New Delhi, Jan 19 (PTI) A ministerial berth for RajyaSabha member Ashwani Kumar is seen as an effort to give morerepresentation to Punjab, which goes to polls next year.

58-year-old Kumar, who joins a growing list oflawyer-turned ministers in the UPA-II Cabinet, returns to theUnion government after a gap having had a stint in theCongress-led alliance''s first term.

Kumar, who is a practicing senior lawyer in the SupremeCourt, comes from a family with a political background.

A former Congress national spokesperson, Kumar is son ofPrabodh Chandra -- a former speaker of Punjab Assembly.

Born in Delhi, he has written several articles on law,economic reforms, elections, democracy and internationalaffairs.

He is a former Additional Solicitor General of India andwas elected to the Rajya Sabha in 2002.

Re-elected to the Rajya Sabha in 2002, Kumar was theMinister of State of Industries in the UPA-I.

An active Parliamentarian, he was member in the Committeeon External Affairs and Committee on Public Accounts.

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