In Pics: 19 new ministers in Modi's reshuffled cabinet

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In a second major expansion since Prime Minister Modi swept to power in May 2014, induction of 19 new ministers swelled Modi's cabinet to 78 - one of the biggest in recent years, but short of the constitutional limit of 82.

The latest Cabinet reshuffle is primarily aimed at giving importance to representatives from states which are going to polls next year.

Five ministers of state were dropped in the second exercise undertaken by Modi government which saw a number of dalit and OBC leaders being given ministerial positions apparently with an eye on assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand next year and Gujarat later.

Let's have a look at 19 new faces that were inducted in the Modi government on July 4, Tuesday.

Anupriya Patel

Anupriya Patel, a first time MP, is an eloquent pro-Modi voice within and outside the Lok Sabha whose OBC roots have positioned her as an important BJP ally in poll-bound Uttar Pradesh.

The 35-year-old Lok Sabha member from Mirzapur in UP won on the ticket of Apna Dal, a party founded by her father and Kurmi leader Sonelal Patel which later split, with the major faction siding with her mother, who expelled her from the party.

 

 

Krishna Raj

Krishna Raj, 49, one of the new ministers in the Narendra Modi government, is from the Pasi community, the dominant section among the Dalits in Uttar Pradesh.

Her induction as a Minister of State is expected to provide the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) with a strong face to woo Dalit voters in the run up to the assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh.

Anil Madhav Dave

Anil Madhav Dave, a BJP Rajya Sabha member from Madhya Pradesh, has been actively involved in conservation work of the Narmada river.

A post-graduate from Gujarati College, Indore, Dave was first elected to the Rajya Sabha in August 2009. He was on Tuesday sworn-in as Minister of State (Environment) in the Union council of ministers.

Dave has been on various parliamentary panels like Committee on Water Resources, Consultative Committee for the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Parliamentary Forum on Global Warming and Climate Change.

Dave has also written several books both in English and Hindi. 'Srajan Se Visarjan Tak', 'Chandra Shekhar Azad', 'Sambhal Ke Rahna Ghar Mein Chhupe Hue Gaddaro Se' and 'Shatabdi Ke Paanch Kale Panne' are some of his books written in Hindi.

'From Amarkantak to Amarkantak' -- the point where the Narmada river originates in Madhya Pradesh -- and 'Beyond Copenhagen' are his writings in English. Born on July 6, 1956, in Barnagar in Ujjain, Dave has remained unmarried.

 

 

Arjun Ram Meghwal

From being a weaver to working his way to the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) as officer to being elected as member of parliament to becoming a union minister now, Arjun Ram Meghwal's journey through life has been an inspiration for many.

The Dalit MP seems to have been rewarded with a berth in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's council of ministers on Tuesday as much in recognition for his struggles in life as for highlighting the allegedly illegal land deals of Robert Vadra in Bikaner in Rajasthan, which is his constituency.

Born into a traditionally weaver family of Kismidesar village in Bikaner, Meghwal was married at the age of 13. But he continued his studies while also working with his father as a weaver. He graduated with a BA degree from Sri Dungar College in Bikaner and also earned an LLB and a Master's from the same institution.

He had his first stint with politics when he contested and won the elections for the post of general secretary of Telephone Traffic Association.

The BJP offered Meghwal the ticket to contest the Lok Sabha elections in 2009 from Bikaner. He won the election, becoming a member of parliament. He was re-elected from the same constituency in 2014. He is the chief whip of the BJP in the Lok Sabha and one of the very few MPs who cycle to parliament.

 

 

 

Ajay Tamta

Ajay Tamta is among the few MPs to have bagged a berth in the union council of ministers in his maiden term as a parliamentarian.

The 44-year-old leader from Almora in Uttarakhand, who takes pride in being part of the Ram Janmabhoomi movement, was formerly a member of the BJP executive.

Tamta, who started off his political career in the early 1990s, was elected from the Almora parliamentary constituency Reserved for Scheduled Castes.

He took oath on Tuesday as Minister of State in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's ministerial council.

Tamta, who owns a transport business, was elected for the first time to the Uttarakhand Legislative Assembly in 2007 and served as junior state minister for the first two years, before being elevated as cabinet minister.

After his re-election in the state assembly in 2012, Tamta could serve only for two years, as the BJP wanted him to contest for the Lok Sabha from the Almora constituency, due to his strong public support base in the area.

He was married in 2011 to Sonal, a housewife. He has a daughter and a son.

 

 

 

C R Chaudhary

A first-time parliamentarian from Nagaur in Rajasthan, C.R. Chaudhary is a well-known figure in Rajasthan and one of the biggest Jat leaders in his constituency.

Born on March 1, 1948, he started his career as a teacher in a college and went on to become the chairman of the Rajasthan Public Service Commission (RPSC) before joining politics post-retirement.

Before winning the Lok Sabha polls in the 2014 general elections, he also staked claim to a Rajya Sabha berth.

 

 

Faggan Singh Kulaste

Faggan Singh Kulaste, BJP MP from Mandla (Scheduled Tribes) reserved constituency in Madhya Pradesh, belongs to the class of politicians who have struggled hard to survive in politics.

Born in 1959, the 57-year-old lawmaker, was on Tuesday sworn-in as Minister of State (Health) in the Union council of ministers.

In October 1999, Kulaste as Lok Sabha member was inducted as Minister of State Parliamentary Affairs in the Atal Behari Vajpayee government but later was moved as Minister of State for Tribal Affairs.

Kulaste has been a key tribal leader in Madhya Pradesh and was earlier elected to the Lok Sabha in 1996 (11th Lok Sabha) and subsequently also in the 12th (1998), 13th (1999) and the 14th Lok Sabha (2004).

A holder of Master's degree and a law graduate, Kulaste's profession in the Lok Sabha website is described as an agriculturist, teacher and a political and a social worker.

 

 

 

Jaswantsinh Bhabor

49-year-old Jaswantsinh Bhabor took oath as MoS tribal Affairs. He is an agriculturalist with a degree in BA and BEd.

His induction is seen as a move to capitalise on the tribal votes in 2017 Gujarat assembly elections.

Bhabor is a tribal leader from Gujarat's backward Dahod and he played a key role in beating Congress in its stronghold in 2012 and 2014. He has assets worth Rs 2 crore.

MJ Akbar [MoS-External Affairs]

M J Akbar's debut as a minister caps a remarkable political turnaround for the journalist and author who made a dashing foray into politics as a Congress MP in 1989, thanks to his proximity to the then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, before a long spell in wilderness.

65-year-old Akbar, who was recently elected to Rajya Sabha from Madhya Pradesh, is seen as an articulate and modern Muslim voice in BJP who can also be trusted to defend it at times on the strident Hindutva pitch with his eloquent evocation of Modi's developmental agenda.

Dr Mahendra Nath Pandey [MoS HRD]

BJP's Lok Sabha MP from Chandauli, Mahendra Nath Pandey, has been an active member of the party in Uttar Pradesh for a long time.

Pandey, 58, is one of the BJP's Brahmin faces in Uttar Pradesh.

He has held several positions in the party and got elected as a member of the Uttar Pradesh Legislative Assembly in 1991 for the first time.

Pandey also served as Minister of State, Housing and Urban Development in the Uttar Pradesh government in 1997.

He studied at Banaras Hindu University and holds a masters degree in journalism.

Pandey, who was born in Ghazipur, is based in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's parliamentary constituency Varanasi.

 

 

Mansukh L Mandaviya [MoS Road Transport & Highways, Chemicals & Fertilisers]

BJP Rajya Sabha member Mansukh L Mandaviya, who was earlier a member of the Gujarat Legislative Assembly, has been an active campaigner for girls' education in his home state.

As a Gujarat lawmaker, Mandaviya has served the state as chairman of Gujarat Agro Industries Corporation Ltd.

Elected to the Rajya Sabha in 2012, Mandaviya was on Tuesday sworn-in as Minister of State in the Union council of ministers.

As member of the upper house, Mandaviya has served as member of the Committee on Petroleum and Natural Gas, National Welfare Board for Seafarers, Committee on Chemicals and Fertilisers and Select Committee of Rajya Sabha on the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Bill, 2013.

 

 

P P Chaudhary [MoS Law & Justice, IT]

A suave leader from Rajasthan, advocate P P Chaudhary represents Pali parliamentary constituency in the western Indian state.

According to BJP insiders, he had strong claims for a ministerial berth as he wrested the constituency from the Congress by a convincing margin of four lakh votes.Born in 1953, the first-time lawmaker has been also the chairperson of the Joint Parliamentary Committee on Offices of Profit and is also heading the Lok Sabha's Fellowship Committee.

He was also a member of the Committee on Subordinate Legislation and the Standing Committee on Personnel, Public Grievances, Law and Justice.

Chaudhary is known for his proximity to Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje Scindia as well as BJP national President Amit Shah.

 

 

Parshottam Rupala [MoS Panchayati Raj, Agriculture & Farmers' Welfare]

61-year-old Rupala is an agriculturalist and has degree in BSc and Bed. The Patel strongman has a strong base in Saurashtra, which sends 47 MLAs to the Gujarat assembly.

He backed Modi during the rebellion against Keshubhai Patel.

Sidelined following his differences with Gujarat CM Anandiben Patel, his inclusion in the Modi cabinet is seen as a move to assuage Patidars ahead of next year assembly polls in the state.

He has assets worth Rs 7.5 crore.

Ramesh Chandappa Jigajinagi [MoS Drinking water & sanitation]

64-year-old Ramesh Chandappa Jigajinagi is a five-time BJP lawmaker from Bijapur Lok Sabha constituency in north Karnataka.

A tall Dalit leader in the state, Jigajinagi is the only BJP parliamentary member from the 28 reserved constituencies for Scheduled Castes (SCs) in southern India.A post-graduate in Arts, the veteran politician entered Parliament for the first time in 1998 by defeating former Union Minister B. Shankaranand of the Congress in the 12th Lok Sabha mid-term poll and retained the seat since then by winning in the 1999, 2004, 2009 and 2014 elections consecutively.

Before entering national politics, Jigajinagi was the party's three-time lawmaker in the state legislative assembly from Bijapur (Vijayapura) since 1983 and held the portfolios of home, excise, social welfare and revenue in the erstwhile Janata Dal governments.

Jigajinagi has also been a member of the various parliamentary standing committees, including Home Affairs, External Affairs, Defence, Commerce, Human Resources and Food and Consumer Affairs for over a decade.

 

 

Ramdas Athawale [MoS Social Justice]

Republican Party of India (A) President Ramdas B. Athawale is rated as the best survivor among all the Dalit leaders across Maharashtra.

56-year-old Rajya Sabha member never batted an eyelid while shifting allegiance from the Congress to the NCP to the BJP in nearly three decades of his political career.

Athawale broke with the Congress-NCP alliance in Maharashtra in 2011 after losing the 2009 Lok Sabha election from Shirdi constituency.

Having tasted power as a minister in the state, Athawale then joined hands with the Shiv Sena-BJP alliance to contest the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation elections in 2011, and the move proved to be a win-win for all stakeholders.

After the alliance was swept to power in the civic body, he stood by the BJP during the Lok Sabha and assembly elections.

Athawale was rewarded with a Rajya Sabha seat in 2014, one of the 19 from the state, with the BJP backing.

 

 

 

Rajen Gohain [MoS Railways]

62-year-old Rajen Gohain is a four-time MP is among the few original BJP leaders in Assam having joined the party in 1991.

He is close to central leaders and the Sangh Parivar. His assets are worth Rs 2.5 crore.

Surendrajeet Singh Ahluwalia [MoS Parliamentary Affairs]

65-year-old SS Ahluwalia is a Lok Sabha member from Darjeeling.

Known for expertise in parliamentary rules and often called "encyclopedia" on legislative issues, Ahluwalia has been also Deputy Leader of Opposition in the Upper House under BJP's Arun Jaitley during the Manmohan Singh regime.

The senior parliamentarian's long experience has come handy to the BJP and the floor managers quite often. Even in the present Lok Sabha, he has been named the chairman of the Privileges Committee of the Lok Sabha.

In May 2016, Ahluwalia was dropped from BJP's list of nominees for the reconstituted Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of Parliament. He joined the BJP when Atal Behari Vajpayee was the Prime Minister and soon emerged as a trusted lieutenant of party veteran Advani.

He educated from St. Joseph School, Asansol and the Burdwan University in south Bengal and also from the Calcutta University.

 

Subhash Bhamre [MoS Defence]

From an oncologist-surgeon to a member of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's council of ministers, the journey has been a unique one for 62-year-old Subhash Bhamre, who was elected from Dhule parliamentary constituency in Maharashtra.

Born in Malpur in Dhule district of Maharashtra, Bhamre was a medical practitioner before he embarked upon a political career.

He was elected to the 16th Lok Sabha on the BJP ticket.

Bhamre is a member of the Standing Committee on Health and Family Welfare apart from being a member of the Consultative Committee on the Ministry of Railways, and Committee on Welfare of Other Backward Classes.

During his university days, he was the vice-captain of Mumbai University Chess and basketball teams.

 

 

Vijay Goel [MoS Youth Affairs & Sports]

Former BJP Delhi unit chief, 62-year-old Vijay Goel, represents Rajasthan in the Rajya Sabha.

For Goel it is back in the union council of ministers after a stint from 2001 to 2004.

Goel was Union Minister in the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) under Atal Behari Vajpayee from 2001 to 2004.

He also served as Union Minister of State of Labour, Parliamentary Affairs, Statistics and Programme Implementation and Youth Affairs and Sports.

Goel has been a member of the 11th, 12th and 13th Lok Sabha as a representative of Delhi's busy Chandni Chowk parliamentary segment but lost from New Delhi constituency in 2009.

Goel has also served as the BJP general secretary in-charge of states like Haryana and Assam.

He was a member of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and was jailed during the Emergency in the 1970s.

 

 

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