NEW DELHI: Sanjeev Balyan attracted controversy name over his alleged involvement in the 2013 Muzaffarnagar riots. The 46-year-old lawmaker hails from Kutbi village in Muzaffarnagar district.
He was part of a mahapanchayat there in September 2013, which appeared to have inflamed tensions. Balyan has denied his involvement in the riots and has claimed that he has been booked in a false case.
He was administered oath as minister of state by President Ram Nath Kovind at Rashtrapati Bhavan Thursday.
A BJP member, he was elected to the Lok Sabha in 2014 from the Muzaffarnagar constituency after trouncing BSP's Kadir Rana by a margin of more than four lakh votes.
In the 2019 general election, he defeated Ajit Singh of the Rashtriya Lok Dal by a margin of 6,500 votes. He was appointed the minister of state for agriculture and food processing in the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government in May 2014.
Then, in July 2016, he was made the minister of state for water resources, river development and Ganga rejuvenation, under Union minister Uma Bharti. Balyan obtained his degrees from the Haryana Agricultural University.
He had served as an assistant professor and a veterinary surgeon with the Haryana government before joining politics.
In his student days, he was associated with the Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), the student wing of the RSS, and was elected convener of the students' union. Being an agriculturist, he was associated with farmers' organisations and raised their issues on various forums.