Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday expanded his council of ministers by elevating Minister of State for Environment Prakash Javadekar in the cabinet and also inducted 19 new Ministers of State.
Here is a list of the 19 new members of the cabinet and their credentials
1.Mahendra Nath Pandey- Representing Chandauli, Pandey won the 2014 Lok Sabha for the first time. His induction is aimed at reviving support of Brahmins voters who drifted towards the BSP in 2007 and 2012 assembly polls.
2. Anil Madhav Dave- Dave, from Barnagar, Ujjain, in Madhya Pradesh, holds an M.Com degree from Gujarati College, Indore. Other than being a member of the Upper House of Parliament, Dave has been a member of the Committee on Water Resources, member of the Consultative Committee for the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.
3. Anupriya Patel- The Apna Dal MP is from Mirzapur in Uttar Pradesh and has been veering UP towards the BJP in the run up to the elections. An eastern UP outfit, Apna Dal has its base among Kurmis, among the largest groups of OBCs in the state. This is why Anupriya is crucial to BJP’s plans for UP.
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4. Arjun Ram Meghwal- A two-time MP, the 61-year-old was first elected to the Lok Sabha in 2009 from Bikaner. Known for his active participation in Lok Sabha debates on a variety of issues, Meghwal had recently attacked the judiciary for its “extra constitutional” activism.
5. Faggan Singh Kulaste- He represents the Mandla constituency of Madhya Pradesh. Kulaste’s name had figured in the 2008 cash-for-vote scandal. He was jailed for two months over a sting operation exposing what was called the cash-for-vote before the trust vote of the Manmohan Singh-led UPA government in 2008. However, a court in Delhi had acquitted him in the case.
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6. Sumanbhai Bhabhor- A BJP leader from Gujarat, Jasvantsinh Sumanbhai Bhabhor is an Adivasi MP elected from Dahod.
7. Krishna Raj- A Dalit, the Shahjahanpur MP Krishna Raj is among the three new faces from poll-bound Uttar Pradesh to be inducted into the ministry. As per caste equations, Krishna Raj has been inducted in the government to target the Dalit vote bank of Bahujan Samaj Party.
8. Mansukh Mandaviya- Mansukh Mandaviya, a leader from Gujarat was inducted along with two other MPs in the Cabinet eyeing the Assembly polls next year.
9. M J Akbar- 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.
10. P P Chaudhary- Born in a poor farmer family, 62-year-old Chaudhary joined the RSS when he was eight years old as a ‘Bal Swayamsevak’ in 1961. Specialising in constitutional matters, he claims to have argued nearly 11,000 cases in his long professional career of almost four decades.
11. Parshottam Rupala- Belonging to the Kadva faction of the Patidar community, Rupala was part of Modi’s campaign team in Varanasi during 2014 Lok Sabha elections. Rupala is considered a powerful Patidar leader who can infuse a sense of confidence into BJP workers at the state level.
12. Rajen Gohain- The four-time BJP MP from Assam is a known champion for the cause of small tea growers in the Northeastern state.Gohain, 65, who was first elected to Lok Sabha in 1999 from Nagaon, is a law graduate and was actively involved in the six-year-long Assam agitation against illegal immigrants in early 1980s.
13. Ramdas Athawale- 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.Calling himself “the fearless panther of India”, the 56-year-old leader claims to have led the ‘Dalit Panther Movement’, a social movement for equality, justice and human rights world-wide.
14. Ramesh Chandappa- He is an agriculturist from North Karnataka and the only minister to have been inducted in the cabinet from the state.
15. Surendrajeet Singh Ahluwalia- From being a minister in the P V Narasimha Rao Cabinet to a ‘research scholar’ for BJP on various key legislations, Surendrajeet Singh Ahluwalia has links cutting across party lines and is known to speak his mind. The Patna-based politician is known for taking stand which at times is contrary to the party’s position.
16. Subhash Ramrao Bhamre- An oncologist and a first-time MP, Subhash Bhamre’s induction into the Union Ministry is being seen as the Modi government’s attempt to compensate Maharashtra for the exit of Raosaheb Danve. Bhamre, born on September 11, 1953, defeated Amrish Patel of Congress to enter the Lok Sabha in 2014 elections from the Dhule constituency, bordering Gujarat.
17. Vijay Goel- 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. 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.
18. Ajay Tamta- Tamta, who would turn 44 on July 16, cut his teeth in politics as a member of district panchayat in his home state Uttarakhand and rose to become its vice president. The induction of the dalit leader from Almora comes at a time when BJP is promoting leaders of the dalit and backward communities in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand where assembly polls are due early next year.
19. C R Chaudhary- The 68-year-old Nagaur MP is a Jat leader from Rajasthan. Born in Dhandhlas village in Nagaur, he was an officer of Rajasthan Administrative Service before joining politics. Chaudhary became member and later Chairman of the Rajasthan Public Service Commission.