Nine new ministers were inducted into Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Council of Ministers on Sunday. The swearing-in ceremony took place at Rashtrapati Bhawan at 10.45 am. Dharmendra Pradhan, Piyush Goyal, Nirmala Sitharaman and Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi were sworn in as Cabinet Ministers, while nine others took oath as Minister of State. One of the new faces to be inducted into PM’s Council of Ministers is Ashwini Kumar Choubey.
Sixty-four-year-old Ashwini Kumar Choubey is a five-term MLA from Bihar who is credited with wresting the Buxar seat from RJD’s grip and adding it to BJP’s kitty in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls. He has been appointed as the Minister of State for Health. A BJP veteran, he has held key portfolios in the NDA government in Bihar, including Health, Urban Development and Public Health Engineering. Choubey’s political career began as president of the students’ union in Patna University, where he did BSc (Hons) in Zoology. He played an active role in the JP Movement in 1970s and was taken into custody during the Emergency.
In his five-decade long association with Jan Sangh and BJP, Choubey has become the most prominent Brahmin face of the party in Bihar, where his arch-rival Sushil Kumar Modi is the deputy CM of the state. Choubey had also run into controversy by calling Congress president Sonia Gandhi as the mythical demon “Putana”, and referring to Rahul Gandhi as “foreign parrot”. Congress workers had filed a case against him in Buxar in 2015.
Choubey is the one who raised the slogan “Ghar ghar mein ho shouchalaya ka nirman, tabhi hoga ladli bitiya ka kanyadaan”, and has helped construct 11,000 toilets for Mahadalit families. He also has a special interest in Yoga.