Thawarchand Gehlot, Union minister for social justice and empowerment, was appointed Governor of Karnataka on Tuesday amid buzz of a cabinet reshuffle. Eight states will get new governors, a notification said.
A Rajya Sabha member from Madhya Pradesh, Gehlot held the same profile of social justice in the first term of the Narendra Modi government from May 2014 to 2019.
Born in Rupeta village in Nagda tehsil of Ujjain district on May 18, 1948, Gehlot graduated from Vikram University, Ujjain.
Gehlot represented Shajapur in the Lok Sabha from 1996 to 2009 but lost the 2009 general elections. He was the General-Secretary and Vice-President of Janata Party from 1977 to 1980. He was elected to Lok Sabha in 1996, 1998, 1999. He also held the positions of member of Committee on Agriculture, member of Committee on the Welfare of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, member of Consultative Committee, Ministry of Labour in 1996 and 1999. He is the most noticeable face of BJP for the Scheduled Castes.
The BJP leader became a Rajya Sabha member in 2012 and was re-elected to the Upper House of Parliament from Madhya Pradesh in 2018. His current Rajya Sabha term will end in 2024. He was appointed as the Leader of the House in Rajya Sabha, taking over the mantle from Arun Jaitley.
Considered close to Modi, Thawar Chand Gehlot was earlier deputed as the central observer for BJP in Gujarat.
Gehlot was also the general secretary in-charge of the BJP in the national capital as well as Karnataka, and also headed the party’s Scheduled Caste cell.
The BJP leader had been to jail several times between 1968 and 1971 for raising workers’ issues as well as during the Emergency in the 1970s.
The new appointments have come ahead of expansion of Prime Minister Modi’s cabinet, which is expected later this week. Other who have been appointed are Bandaru Dattatreya Haryana, Hari Babu Kambhampati, who has been given charge of Mizoram, Mangubhai Chaganbhai will be new governor of Madhya Pradesh, Rajendran Vishwanath Arlekar will head Himachal Pradesh, PS Sreedharan Pillai Goa, Satyadev Narayan Arya Tripura and Ramesh Bais Jharkhand.