That the 61-year-old banker-politician from coastal Konkan was in good books of the Narendra Modi regime became evident after he was appointed head of a government panel on power revamp called Advisory Group for Integrated Development of Power, Coal and Renewable Energy.
Prabhu was also appointed as Modi's ‘sherpa' to assist the Prime Minister at the upcoming G20 summit in Brisbane.
There were reports in Maharashtra political circles that Modi wanted him at the Centre despite the logjam in ties between the two former allies Shiv Sena and BJP ahead of last month's Assembly elections in Maharashtra.
Prabhu has represented the Rajapur Lok Sabha constituency in Konkan four times, from 1996 to 2009. He lost his seat in the 2009 general election. This is the same constituency which late Janata Party leader Madhu Dandavate had represented.
Prabhu's decision to call off his visit to Wharton School as a mark of protest against the cancellation of Modi's keynote address at the Wharton India Economic Forum 2013 won him admirers.
During Vajpayee's tenure from 1998 to 2004, Prabhu was Industry Minister, Minister for Environment and Forests, Minister for Fertilizers & Chemicals, Power, Heavy Industry and Public Enterprises.
His efforts to streamline the functioning of the Power Ministry were appreciated and he tried to ensure the all-round development of this crucial sector.
Prabhu was also Chairman of Task Force for Interlinking of Rivers.
He was elected a member of the World Bank parliamentary network and nominated as the Chairman of the South Asia Water conference.