The much-awaited cabinet reshuffle has brought with it some big-ticket losers; notable ministers such as Harsh Vardhan, Ravi Shankar Prasad, Santosh Gangwar, amid other resigned ahead of the expansion. However, others have made notable gains, as many MoS and those with independent charge have been elevated into the cabinet.
Here are the biggest five ‘gainers’ of the cabinet reshuffle:
Anurag Thakur, an MP from Himachal Pradesh, the Minister of State for Finance, has now been elevated to the Union Cabinet. Thakur, 46, has served 3 terms spanning 7 years as BJPs Youth Wing President. He is well versed with political manoeuvring and messaging; something that has been strategically utilised by Home Minister Amit Shah over the years. Thakur was instrumental in cementing the alliance with his friend Dushyant Chautala of the JJP; a role which was publicly acknowledged by Shah.
The BJP’s Rajya Sabha MP Narayan Rane has been promoted to the Union Cabinet. Rane, who has served in three political parties — the Shiv Sena, the Congress, and now the BJP — has a six decade-long political career. In numerous respects, Rane’s elevation to the Union cabinet will benefit the BJP in Maharashtra. Rane, a former chief minister, is a prominent Maratha politician at a time when the BJP is challenging the state’s Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) for failing to defend the Maratha quota in the Supreme Court. He has a sizable following in Maharashtra’s Konkan region, where the BJP has traditionally struggled.
Firebrand spokesperson of the BJP Meenakshi Lekhi has also made it to the cabinet. She won the high-profile New Delhi parliamentary constituency as a BJP candidate in the 2014 elections and was re-elected in 2019.
Jyotiraditya Scindia has now made a comeback in the Union Cabinet. This time, and for the first time, as an NDA leader. In March 2020, 22 MLAs of Congress led by Scindia resigned from the party and crossed over to the BJP, leading to the collapse of the then Kamal Nath-led government in Madhya Pradesh, which paved the way for the BJP to return to power again.
MoS Ports, Shipping & Waterways Mansukh Mandaviya is now a part of the Union Cabinet. He is also a member of the Gujarat Rajya Sabha. The leader is known for his Padyatras, in which he travels large miles on foot to connect villages and raise awareness for a good cause. He has been actively engaged in work towards the Pradhan Mantri Bharatiya Jan Aushadhi Pariyojana (PMBJP). His commitment to women’s menstrual hygiene was recently recognised by UNICEF.