New Delhi: With the reshuffling of the Ministers, we have the below 9 new faces in the Parliament.
Vyricherla Kishore Chandra Suryanarayana Deo – the newly appointed Minister for Tribal Affairs and Panchayati Raj. The 64-year-old leader comes from a Scheduled Tribe community Konda Dora and a family of tribal hill chiefs. He earlier served as union minister of state for steel, mines and coal in 1979-80. He was elected as the Member of Parliament for the first time in 1977 in the sixth Lok Sabha. He was re-elected to the seventh and eighth Lok Sabhas in 1980 and 1984 respectively. He became a member of Rajya Sabha in 1994. Deo was again elected to Lok Sabha in 2004 and re-elected in 2009.
Beni Prasad Verma – newly appointed Minister of State with Independent charge of Steel Ministry. 70-year-old, a prominent Kurmi (backward) leader from Uttar Pradesh, was Union minister for Communications between 1996 and 1998, during the United Front regime. Verma was elected to the Lok Sabha in 1998, 1999 and 2004 from the Kaiserganj constituency. In 2009, he represented Gonda Lok Sabha constituency in UP as a Congress nominee. Once considered close to SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav, Verma fell apart following differences. In 2008, Verma announced his intention to contest the general elections on a Congress ticket and won from Gonda in 2009. During his long political innings, Verma has been associated with the Janata Party, Bharatiya Lok Dal and Janata Dal.
Paban Singh Ghatowar – newly appointed Minister of Development of North Eastern Region. The 59-year-old is a veteran Congress leader from Assam has represented the Dibrugarh parliamentary seat for five terms since 1991. He became deputy minister, labour, in 1991, and then took charge as deputy minister, Health and Family Welfare, in 1993. In 1995, his status was upgraded when he was inducted as union minister of state, health and family welfare. Ghatowar was president of the Assam Pradesh Congress Committee in 2002. Ghatowar joined the Congress in 1986 but was associated with the various trade unions during college days.
Jayanthi Natarajan – newly appointed Minister of state for Environment and Forests with independent charge. 57-year-old, she was the earlier minister of state in the civil aviation and parliamentary affairs ministries in the United Front government when she was with the Tamil Maanila Congress (TMC). She is the first minister of state for the Congress from Tamil Nadu. Granddaughter of former Tamil Nadu chief minister M. Bakthavatsalam of the Congress, Ms Natarajan, a lawyer by profession, is the Congress spokesperson and a former newscaster for Doordarshan. She is certainly the most popular Congress face in Tamil Nadu. She got elected to the Rajya Sabha first in 1986 and has been nominated twice for the upper house. She quit the Congress in 1996 when Congress leader G.K. Moopanar founded the TMC to protest against the party’s decision to align with AIADMK in state elections.
Rajeev Shulka – newly appointed elected Minister of Parliamentary Affairs. Member of Parliament, BCCI Vice President, journalist, political commentator and television host- Rajeev Shukla is a multi faceted personality who started off his career as a reporter with a leading publication in Uttar Pradesh. As a journalist, Mr. Shukla wrote for the very prestigious Sunday magazine and went on to become its political editor. Between the years 1992-95, he also worked for Sunday Observer as its Political Editor. He has interviewed eminent personalities ranging from political leaders like Congress Chairperson Mrs. Sonia Gandhi, Fomer Prime Ministers Mr. Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Mr I.K Gujral to film celebrities and sport stars like Amitabh Bachchan, Anil Kapoor, Shahrukh Khan, Aamir Khan, Kapil Dev, Imran Khan. Mr. Shukla was lauded as TV host for the programme for his unique style and flair. Today Mr. Shukla is a Member of Parliament Rajya Sabha and is also the Vice President of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).
Sudip Bandopadhyay – newly appointed Minister of Health and Family Welfare Ministry. 58-year-old Bandopadhyay is a four-time legislator in West Bengal. He is a founding member of the Trinamool Congress and has switched between the Congress and the Trinamool a couple of times. The three-time Lok Sabha member was expelled from the Congress on the same day as Mamata Banerjee in 1997. He quit his assembly seat of Bowbazar and made his maiden entry into the Lok Sabha on a Trinamool ticket in 1998 to become the party’s chief whip in the lower house of parliament, a position he still holds. In 2004, Bandopadhyay was denied a Trinamool candidate but jumped into the fray as a Congress backed independent in Kolkata North West. He was expelled from Trinamool, and also lost the polls, but months later he formally joined the Congress. Subsequently, he returned to the Trinamool in December 2008 and won the newly formed Kolkata North Lok Sabha seat in 2009 with a whopping margin.
Milind Deora – newly appointed Minister of Communications and IT. He has a secular image, savvy and modern in his outlook and a typical Mumbaikar who means business. Making his maiden foray as a minister, the 34-year old already has two successive Lok Sabha victories to his credit. He joined politics when he was just in his early-20s. A good orator and skillful at debating, Mr Deora enjoys an excellent rapport among the minorities who form a substantial chunk of his constituency as well as poor sections like mill-workers, slum dwellers and others who are surrounded by the glitter and glamour of Mumbai South.
Jitendra Singh – newly appointed Minister of Home Affairs. The 41-year-old Congress Lok Sabha MP from Rajasthan and one of the closest aides of party general secretary Rahul Gandhi. Singh replaces Gurudas Kamat as a minister of state for home affairs and will work under P. Chidambaram. He hails from the erstwhile royal family of Alwar, from where he was elected to the Lok Sabha in 2009. One of the secretaries of the All India Congress Committee (AICC), he is among Rahul Gandhi’s closest political aides.
Charan Das Mahant – newly appointed Minister of State for Agriculture and Food processing industries. The 57-year-old is the lone Lok Sabha member of the Congress from Chhattisgarh. He was born in Janjgir-Champa district and belongs to the other backward class (OBC). A Ph.D, Mahant won the Korba Lok Sabha seat in 2009, defeating Karuna Shukla, niece of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and a powerful face of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). He has been in active politics for nearly three decades. He was first elected to undivided Madhya Pradesh assembly in 1980. He became the Chhattisgarh Congress president in 2006 and served till 2008.