With Gadkari, Vidarbha gets a Union Cabinet Minister

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Nagpur, May 26: With the induction of Nitin Gadkari in the Narendra Modi cabinet at the Centre, the Vidarbha region and Nagpur city in particular has got a Union Cabinet Minister.

Though earlier most of those, who became Union Ministers from Vidarbha region belonged to the Congress, this time the former BJP president has got this opportunity. Gadkari, a first timer in Lok Sabha, was elected from Nagpur constituency, a traditional Congress stronghold, defeating seven-time winner Vilas Muttemwar by a margin of about three lakh votes.

Former Prime Minister P V Narasimha Rao had once represented the neighbouring Ramtek Lok Sabha constituency and became the HRD Minister in the Rajiv Gandhi cabinet. He later became the Prime Minister after Gandhi's assassination in 1991. Punjabrao Deshmukh from Amravati was the first Cabinet Minister for Agriculture in the Jawahralal Nehru cabinet.

Years later, Vasant Sathe and N K P Salve were Cabinet Ministers in successive Congress governments. While Sathe was in office between 1980–1982 as Information and Broadcasting Minister, Salve was first appointed a Union Cabinet Minister in 1982, under Indira Gandhi. A Rajya Sabha member, Saroj Khaparde was a Minister of State (1980-82) in the Indira Gandhi Ministry. Subodh Mohite, who got elected on Shiv Sena ticket from Ramtek was Union Heavy Industries Minister during the NDA rule. He later left Sena and joined Congress but lost Lok Sabha polls.

Praful Patel, who was earlier with Congress and later parted ways along with Sharad Pawar was Union Civil Aviation Minister and was Heavy Industries Minister in the outgoing Manmohan Singh cabinet. He represented Bhandara-Gondia constituency.

A seven time MP from city, Vilas Muttemwar was Minister of State for Poverty Alleviation in Narasimha Rao government and MoS (Independent charge) of Non-Conventional Energy during the UPA-I regime. Shantaram Potdukhe, who represented Chandrapur, was Minister of State for Finance in the Narasimha Rao cabinet. 


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