64-year-old Deo until recently a member of the powerful Congress Working Committee(CWC) has a rich experience in Parliamentary affairs and always been in the forefront in fighting for the rights of tribal people.
A low-profile and media-shy leader, Deo expectedly got the Tribal Affairs and Panchayati Raj portfolio.
One of the notable Congress faces from Andhra Pradesh, Deo's name was doing the rounds for the post of Lok Sabha Speaker after the 2009 general elections, but the party opted for Meira Kumar who became the first woman presiding office of Parliament.
Deo was first elected to Parliament in 1977 and was re-elected four times. He had one term in Rajya Sabha.
Deo had a brief stint in the Union Cabinet as Minister of State for Steel, Mines and Coal during 1979-80 and the big break has come for him after 33 years.
The veteran Congress leader has been the Chairperson of several key parliamentary committees, including the Joint Parliamenary Committee on the Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Bill that led to the historic ''forest rights'' Act.
Deo had also headed the committee set up for looking into the cash-for-vote scam in Parliament.
He has also had his brush with controversies as several petions were filed in courts in Andhra Pradesh questioning Deo's Scheduled Tribe status. Three different inquiries in 1977 and 1999 and 2004 have since established his status.