Sidelined in Delhi, Vijay Goel makes a comeback

New Delhi, July 5: Vijay Goel's inclusion in the Union Council of Ministers marks a comeback of sorts for the leader after BJP virtually removed him from Delhi, where he once hoped to be the chief ministerial face, and sent him to the Rajya Sabha from Rajasthan.

The three-time Lok Sabha MP, who was a minister in the PMO in the first NDA government under Atal Bihari Vajpayee, remained a prominent party leader in the national capital before being sidelined in the last two Assembly polls.

Vjay Goel inducted in Modi's Cabinet

A skillful and media savvy politician, Goel may be used, a section in the party believes, to counter AAP leader and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, whose consistent attacks on Prime Minister Narendra Modi often force the top BJP brass into damage control mode with the state leadership being seen as largely ineffectual.

As a minister of state, he had also earlier held the charges of youth affairs and sports and parliamentary affairs.

The 62-year-old leader entered the Rajya Sabha for the first time in 2014. His Rajya Sabha biodata says that he also led a country- wide campaign for banning lottery and a movement for prohibition of smoking in public places.

With Modi often exhorting his ministers to do the extra bit to spread the word about his government's work among the masses, Goel's knack of publicity over public issues is likely to come in handy.


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