AHMEDABAD: Influential Patel community leader Parshottam Rupala, minister in the first Narendra Modi government Mansukh Mandaviya and three-time MP Darshana Jardosh, all from Gujarat, were among those inducted in the Union cabinet on Wednesday.
PARSHOTTAM RUPALA: Senior BJP leader Parshottam Rupala, who comes from the influential Kadva Patidar or Patel community in Gujarat, had served as the principal of a government school and later as the chief officer of Amreli municipality for five years before taking a political plunge in the late 1980s when he joined the BJP.
Rupala (66), a native of Amreli district, subsequently rose through the party ranks and became an MLA for the first time in 1991 from the Amreli seat, which he went on to represent for two more terms till 2002.
He had served as a minister in the then BJP government from 1995 to 2002.
Rupala became the president of the Gujarat unit of the saffron party in 2006 and remained in that role till 2010 when he was appointed as the national vice president of the BJP.
Rupala is known for his unique and humorous oratory skills which come in handy for the BJP to keep the rural audiences engaged during election campaigning.
According to his official bio-data, Rupala, who holds B.SC and B.Ed degrees, had served as the president of the Amreli district BJP from 1988 to 1991 and represented the Amreli Assembly segment thrice between 1991 and 2002.
However, Rupala never contested any state election again after his defeat in the 2002 Assembly polls at the hands of Congress' Paresh Dhanani.
He was first nominated to the Rajya Sabha in 2008 and remained a member of the Upper House till 2014.
In 2016, he was again appointed to the Rajya Sabha from Gujarat and sworn in as the Minister of State for Agriculture and Farmers' Welfare.
DARSHANA JARDOSH: After serving in various positions in the Gujarat BJP for over three decades, incumbent Lok Sabha MP from Surat Darshana Jardosh, is all set for a bigger role as a minister in the Narendra Modi government.
Jardosh (60), belongs to the Darji community which comes under the Other Backward Classes (OBC) category.
She made a winning hat-trick from Surat in 2009, 2014 and in 2019.
According to her official biodata, Jardosh had held the position of the vice president of Surat BJP's ward no.8 committee in the late 1980s and was later elected as a corporator from the same ward in 2000.
Subsequently, she was appointed as the president of the women's wing of the Surat BJP and then as the general secretary of the state BJP women's wing till 2008.
In her maiden Lok Sabha contest from Surat in 2009, Jardosh defeated Congress' Dhiru Gajera by a margin of over 74,000 votes.
Not a known face outside Surat and someone who likes to keep a low profile, Jardosh emerged victorious in the general elections of 2014 and 2019 winning her seat by a thumping margin of over 5 lakh votes on both the occasions.
After she became an MP in 2009, Jardosh served as a member of different committees of Parliament, such as committees for chemicals and fertilisers, estimates, empowerment of women, finance and business advisory.
MANSUKH MANDAVIYA: Mansukh Mandaviya, a BJP leader from Gujarat's Saurashtra region, has been an important young face in the Narendra Modi government at the Centre since 2016.
He was first inducted in the Union cabinet as Minister of State for Road Transport and Highways, Shipping and Chemicals and Fertilisers on July 5, 2016.
On May 30, 2019, he was again sworn in as MoS for Chemicals and Fertilisers with an independent charge of Ports, Shipping and Waterways.
Born into a farming family in Hanol village in Bhavnagar district on July 1, 1972, Mandaviya was first elected to the Rajya Sabha in 2012 and reelected in 2018.
Earlier, he had served as chairman of the Gujarat Agro Industries Corporation Limited.
He started his political journey as a member of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), the RSS' student wing, before joining the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM), the youth wing of the BJP.
Mandaviya became the youngest MLA in Gujarat in 2002 when he was elected from Palitana constituency.
A postgraduate in political science from Bhavnagar University, Mandaviya is also known for organising long padyatras (foot marches) including two that he held as an MLA to spread awareness on girls' education and the perils of addiction.
Taking into account his organisational skills, he was made the youngest-ever secretary of the state BJP in 2013, and general secretary in 2014.
In 2014, he also became in-charge of the BJP's mega membership drive during which one crore people joined the party.
The following year in 2015, he was selected to represent India at the United Nations where he delivered a speech on the '2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development'.
As Union minister, he is credited with setting up over 5,100 Jan Aushadhi stores to provide more than 850 medicines at affordable rates and reducing the cost of heart stents and knee implants.
He was honoured by UNICEF for his contribution to the cause of women's menstrual hygiene by using the chain of Jan Aushadhi Kendras to sell 10 crore sanitary pads made with oxo-biodegradable technology at a nominal price.