Jual, Dharmendra Get Ministry Reward
By Express News Service | Published: 27th May 2014 09:14 AM |
BHUBANESWAR: Two BJP leaders from Odisha were inducted in the Council of Ministers led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday.
While Jual Oram, the lone BJP MP from the State, has been rewarded with a Cabinet berth, Rajya Sabha member from Bihar and national BJP general secretary Dharmendra Pradhan has been given Minister of State (Independent charge). He is likely to head the Petroleum and Natural Gas Ministry.
The first Tribal Affairs Minister in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government, Oram may retain the portfolio.
The 53-year-old tribal leader from Sundargarh, who had a six-year stint in a public sector company before jumping into politics, was the face saver of the party. He defeated former hockey captain and BJD nominee Dilip Tirkey at the hustings when the regional party swept the polls in the State.
Oram had played a significant role in strengthening the BJP organisation in Odisha during his tenure as party’s State unit president. He had represented Sundargarh in Lok Sabha from 1998 to 2009.
Hailing from a poor family in a remote village in tribal-dominated Sundargarh district, Oram created history of sorts when he was made the first Tribal Affairs Minister at the Centre.
Oram was first elected to the State Assembly in 1990 from Bonai. Though he was elected from this constituency for the second consecutive time in 1995, he resigned in 1998 to contest Lok Sabha election from Sundargarh.
Presently national BJP vice-president, Oram was in news for leading an agitation against a proposed iron ore mining in Khandadhar belt in Sundargarh pleading that it will jeopardise the interests of tribals.
Pradhan (44), who was part of the BJP’s election campaign team in Bihar, where the BJP and its allies won 31 of 40 Parliamentary seats in the recent elections, has been rewarded handsomely for the party’s excellent performance.
Elected to the Rajya Sabha in March 2012 from Bihar, Pradhan was a member of the 14th Lok Sabha from Deogarh in Odisha. He is a member of BJP and RSS and son of former Union minister Debendra Pradhan.