CHANDIGARH: Seventy-year-old former Indian Administrative Service officer of Punjab cadre Som Parkash is the Dalit face of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Punjab.
He is one of the new faces in the Prime Minister Narendra Modi government. The first-time Member of Parliament from Hoshiarpur (reserved) defeated his nearest Congress rival Raj Kumar Chabbewal by 93,898 votes.
Parkash got 4,21,320 (42.52 per cent) votes while Chabbewal got 3,72,790 (37.63 per cent) votes. The BJP fielded Parkash after former Union Minister Vijay Sampla was denied ticket.
Parkash is the sitting legislator from Phagwara Assembly segment which falls in the Hoshiarpur parliamentary seat. He also fought the parliamentary election in 2009 from Hoshiarpur but lost by a small margin.
In 2012, he won the Phagwara Assembly seat and retained it in 2017. Before joining politics, Parkash served as the Deputy Commissioner of Jalandhar.
He holds a postgraduate degree in Economics from Punjab University, Chandigarh. Parkash is the former President of the Chandigarh Volleyball Association.