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Cabinet reshuffle: a mix of new and old

Scion of the Scindia family, US-educated Jyotiraditya (37) is not new to politics. At the age of 13, he campaigned in a Lok Sabha election.

April 7, 2008 12:12:22 am

Jyotiraditya Scindia: Scion of the Scindia family, US-educated Jyotiraditya (37) is not new to politics. At the age of 13, he campaigned in a Lok Sabha election. Son of late Congress stalwart Madhavrao Scindia, his aunt Vasundhara Raje is the Rajasthan CM. He became a natural choice of the Congress for the Guna Lok Sabha seat after his father died in an air crash in 2001. Scindia, who has worked as an investment banker with Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley, has varied interests and had done a course in car racing as well.

Jitin Prasada: Prior to his entry into politics, Jitin Prasada (35) worked at DSP Meryll Lynch and later with BPL Net. A first-time MP from Shahjahanpur in UP, he is the son of late Congress leader Jitendra Prasada. His grandfather Jyoti Prasada was also a member of the party. Currently AICC Secretary, Prasada is a member of the party’s Future Challenges Group. Having done his schooling from the Doon School in Dehradun, Prasada moved to Delhi for his higher education. His great grandfather Jwala Prasada was an Imperial Civil Service officer and great grandmother Purnima Devi was Rabindranath Tagore’s niece.

M S Gill: He learnt mountaineering from Tenzing Norgay and now, former chief election commissioner M S Gill has climbed up from being a bureaucrat to a minister. A sports enthusiast and an expert on agriculture, 72-year-old Gill became an election commissioner in 1992. Gill rose to become the CEC in 1995 and conducted the 1998 and 1999 polls. A recipient of Padma Vibhushan, this former IAS officer was elected to the Rajya Sabha from Punjab in 2004. Gill was actively involved in Punjab’s Green Revolution and has authored a book, ‘An Indian Success Story: Agriculture and Cooperatives in Punjab’.

Santosh Bagrodia: An industrialist by profession and a politician by passion, Rajya Sabha MP and Congress leader Santosh Bagrodia (68) brings with him the legacy of social service. A three-time MP from Rajasthan, Bagrodia’s political career spans over 23 years. He entered active politics in 1975 after two decades of social work and assisted Congress in many elections in Sikkim, Assam, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Tripura, Punjab and Delhi. He was first elected to the Rajya Sabha in 1986 and re-elected to the House in 1998 and 2004. Born and educated in Kolkata, Bagrodia is known for his services to the under privileged.

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Rameshwar Oraon: From police service to politics, the career of this tribal leader spans over 30 years. Hailing from Chianki Palamau in Jharkhand, Oraon, a Congress MP from Lohardaga Reserve seat, did his PhD in Economics before joining the police service in 1972. He took voluntary retirement to join politics in 2004 and was elected to the Lok Sabha the same year. A sports enthusiast, Oraon has served as president of the Jharkhand Hockey Men’s Association.

V Narayanasamy: AICC general secretary V Narayana-samy, who was elected to the Rajya Sabha in 2003 from Puducherry for the third time, hails from a farmers’ family in Poornankuppam. He was first elected to the Upper House in 1985 and retained the seat in 1991. A practising lawyer before plunging into politics in 1985, he was associated with the Youth Congress. He was imprisoned for participating in agitations when Indira Gandhi was held in 1978. Narayanasamy is the first Rajya Sabha member from Puducherry to become a Central minister.

Raghunath Jha: The Brahmin face of RJD, Jha (69) entered politics in 1960s as a Socialist before switching over to the Congress, Janata Party, RJD, JD-U and finally, rejoining Lalu Prasad’s party. An ardent follower of former PM Chandra Shekhar, he won the Sheohar seat four times in a row. Jha resigned from the Congress and secured a Janata Party ticket when Chandra Shekhar was its president. Later, he joined the Janata Dal and was pitted as chief ministerial candidate against Lalu Prasad Yadav and Ramsunder Das in a triangular contest in 1990, but lost. Jha joined the JD-U in 1998 and successfully contested from the Gopalganj constituency. He rejoined the RJD in 2004 and became its Lok Sabha member from Bettiah.

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