President Pranab Mukherjee administering the oath as Minister of State to Ramdas Athawale, at a swearing-in ceremony, at Rashtrapati Bhavan, in New Delhi on July 05, 2016. (Source: PIB)
Ramdas Athawale, known for his comic sense, is a prominent dalit leader from Maharashtra whose induction into the Modi government is part of BJP's endeavour to reach out to the politically crucial segment ahead of elections to five states including Uttar Pradesh.
Athawale, who heads the Republican Party of India (Athawale), an NDA ally, has been a trade unionist and is known more for his blunt remarks and popular laughter-evoking speeches in Parliament and outside. His induction came at a time when BJP has laid claim to the legacy of dalit icon B R Ambedkar. (Source: PIB)
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