Rajiv Pratap Rudy, 52 | Skill Development & Entrepreneurship (independent charge), Parliamentary Affairs (MoS)
(Lok Sabha, Bihar)
Rudy, who defeated Lalu Prasad’s wife and former CM Rabri Devi in Saran, has now become the second Rajput leader after Radha Mohan Singh from Bihar to be inducted in the Cabinet. With the BJP wooing its traditional upper-caste vote-bank and Rudy’s experience as a central minister, he has been rewarded for wresting Lalu’s bastion of Chhapra. Rudy was always the BJP’s choice to take on Lalu, whom he could never defeat. He entered the Rajya Sabha after losses in 1996, 1998 and 2009. His only previous victory (1999) came when Lalu was not in the fray.
Bandaru Dattatreya, 67 | Labour (Lok Sabha, Telangana)
Fourth-time MP from Secunderabad (1991, 1998 and 1999 earlier), the only minister from Telangana. He was an RSS pracharak from 1965 before he joined the BJP in 1990, and was president of the Andhra Pradesh BJP for several years. Dattatreya served as minister of state in Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s government (Urban Development 1998-1999, Urban Development and Poverty Alleviation from 1999, Railways 2002-04). He is the BJP’s national vice president and a national executive member (permanent invitee). A member of the backward classes, Dattatreya is a science graduate. He lost in 2004 and 2009,and was appointed BJP state president in 2006 and national executive member in 2009.