Narendra Modi
Narendra Modi signs documents after taking the oath of office as India's Prime Minister at the President house in New Delhi on May 30, 2019. Image Credit: AFP

Narendra Modi: Prime Minister and also in-charge of: Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions; Department of Atomic Energy; Department of Space; and all l other portfolios not allocated to any Minister.

Cabinet Ministers

1. Rajnath Singh: Minister of Defence.

2. Amit Shah: Minister of Home Affairs.

3. Nitin Jairam Gadkari: Minister of Road Transport and Highways; and Minister of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises.

4. D V Sadananda Gowda: Minister of Chemicals and Fertilizers.

5. Nirmala Sitharaman: Minister of Finance; and Minister of Corporate Affairs.

6. Ramvilas Paswan: Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution.

7. Narendra Singh Tomar: Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare; Minister of Rural Development; and Minister of Panchayati Raj.

8. Ravi Shankar Prasad: Minister of Law and Justice; Minister of Communications; and Minister of Electronics and Information Technology.

9. Harsimrat Kaur Badal: Minister of Food Processing Industries.

10. Thaawar Chand Gehlot: Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment.

11. Subrahmanyam Jaishankar: Minister of External Affairs.

12. Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’: Minister of Human Resource Development.

13. Arjun Munda: Minister of Tribal Affairs.

14. Smriti Zubin Irani: Minister of Women and Child Development; and Minister of Textiles.

15. Harsh Vardhan: Minister of Health and Family Welfare; Minister of Science and Technology; and Minister of Earth Sciences.

16. Prakash Javadekar: Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change; and Minister of Information and Broadcasting.

17. Piyush Goyal: Minister of Railways; and Minister of Commerce and Industry.

18. Dharmendra Pradhan: Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas; and Minister of Steel.

19. Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi: Minister of Minority Affairs.

20. Pralhad Joshi: Minister of Parliamentary Affairs; Minister of Coal; and Minister of Mines.

21. Mahendra Nath Pandey: Minister of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship.

22. Arvind Ganpat Sawant: Minister of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprise.

23. Giriraj Singh: Minister of Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries.

24. Gajendra Singh Shekhawat: Minister of Jal Shakti.

Ministers of State (Independent Charge)

1. Santosh Kumar Gangwar: Minister of State (Independent Charge) of the Ministry of Labour and Employment.

2. Rao Inderjit Singh: Minister of State (Independent Charge) of the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation; and Minister of State (Independent Charge) of the Ministry of Planning.

3. Shripad Yesso Naik: Minister of State (Independent Charge) of the Ministry of Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy (AYUSH); and Minister of State in the Ministry of Defence.

4. Jitendra Singh: Minister of State (Independent Charge) of the Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region; Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office Minister of State in the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions; Minister of State in the Department of Atomic Energy; and Minister of State in the Department of Space.

5. Kiren Rijiju: Minister of State (Independent Charge) of the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports; and Minister of State in the Ministry of Minority Affairs.

6. Prahalad Singh Patel: Minister of State (Independent Charge) of the Ministry of Culture; and Minister of State (Independent Charge) of the Ministry of Tourism.

7. Raj Kumar Singh: Minister of State (Independent Charge) of the Ministry of Power; Minister of State (Independent Charge) of the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy; and Minister of State in the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship.

8. Hardeep Singh Puri: Minister of State (Independent Charge) of the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs; Minister of State (Independent Charge) of the Ministry of Civil Aviation; and Minister of State in the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.

9. Mansukh L. Mandaviya: Minister of State (Independent Charge) of the Ministry of Shipping; and Minister of State in the Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers.

Ministers of State

1. Faggan Singh Kulaste: Minister of State in the Ministry of Steel.

2. Ashwini Kumar Choubey: Minister of State in the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

3. Arjun Ram Meghwal: Minister of State in the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs; and Minister of State in the Ministry of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises.

4. General (Retd) V K Singh: Minister of State in the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways.

5. Krishan Pal: Minister of State in the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment. 6. Danve Raosaheb Dadarao: Minister of State in the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution. 7. G Kishan Reddy: Minister of State in the Ministry of Home Affairs.

8. Purshottam Rupala: Minister of State in the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare.

9. Ramdas Athawale: Minister of State in the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment.

10. Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti: Minister of State in the Ministry of Rural Development.

11. Babul Supriyo: Minister of State in the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change.

12. Sanjeev Kumar Balyan: Minister of State in the Ministry of Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries.

13. Dhotre Sanjay Shamrao: Minister of State in the Ministry of Human Resource Development; Minister of State in the Ministry of Communications; and Minister of State in the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology.

14. Anurag Singh Thakur: Minister of State in the Ministry of Finance; and Minister of State in the Ministry of Corporate Affairs.

15. Angadi Suresh Channabasappa: Minister of State in the Ministry of Railways.

16. Nityanand Rai: Minister of State in the Ministry of Home Affairs.

17. Rattan Lal Kataria: Minister of State in the Ministry of Jal Shakti; and Minister of State in the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment.

18. V Muraleedharan: Minister of State in the Ministry of External Affairs; and Minister of State in the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs. 1

9. Renuka Singh Saruta: Minister of State in the Ministry of Tribal Affairs.

20. Som Parkash: Minister of State in the Ministry of Commerce and Industry. 21. Rameswar Teli: Minister of State in the Ministry of Food Processing Industries.

22. Pratap Chandra Sarangi: Minister of State in the Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises; and Minister of State in the Ministry of Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries.

23. Kailash Choudhary: Minister of State in the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare.

24. Debasree Chaudhuri: Minister of State in the Ministry of Women and Child Development.

Everyone in the new cabinet

'Chanakya' Amit Shah in a new role

After a most successful stint as the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) President, Amit Shah, called the "Chanakya" of modern day Indian politics, on Thursday joined the cabinet of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Shah is most likely to be given the Finance portfolio, which was earlier with Arun Jaitley, who on Wednesday urged Modi to keep him out of the ministry on health grounds.

BJP National President Amit Shah on his arrival at the Kannur International Airport, in Kannur, Saturday, October 27, 2018 Image Credit: PTI

After Modi, Shah was the man who built the party's campaign systematically around the nationalism plank and the Prime Minister's popularity.

Shah, who was in election mode since becoming the party President in 2014, has been rewarded by Modi after the BJP registered a spectacular win in the Lok Sabha elections bagging 303 seats on its own.

Though Shah entered national politics in 2013, his organisational training and extensive travel across India helped him learn the finer points of cow belt politics.

In no time in Uttar Pradesh, Shah transformed the profile of the BJP, which for a long time was seen as a party of forward castes in the state.

Both in the 2014 Lok Sabha and 2017 Assembly elections, Shah first stitched together a strong intra-party caste alliance within BJP's broad political framework in the state.

He also strengthened the so-called rainbow coalition by striking a pre-poll alliance with smaller regional outfits.

As the result, the BJP won 71 Lok Sabha seats in Uttar Pradesh in 2014 and the party swept a two-third majority in 2017 Assembly polls.

He also led the BJP to victory in Assembly elections in Haryana, Maharashtra, Jharkhand, Jammu and Kashmir, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh and other states.

Formerly an MLA from Naranpura in his home state Gujarat, Shah had been elected four times from Sarkhej.

Shah became a loyalist of Modi as both were associated with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) since their early age.

During his tenure as Minister in Gujarat, Shah held several portfolios including that of transport, police, housing, border security, civil defense, gram rakshak dal, Home Guards, prison, prohibition, excise, law and justice, parliamentary affairs and the coveted Home Ministry.

A science graduate, he was active in politics since his college days when he was with the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad.

Born on October 22, 1964 into a philanthropist family, he joined the RSS as a "Tarun Syawamsevak".

In 1982, as a student of bio-chemistry, he became the Secretary of RSS student wing ABVP in Ahmedabad. He then became the Secretary of BJP Ahmedabad city unit. There was no looking back since then.

He went on to hold many crucial posts to rise up in the ranks of the BJP in Gujarat. He became the national Treasurer of Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha in 1997 and later the Vice President of the Gujarat BJP.

Shah is also credited with turnaround of the co-operative sector in Gujarat. In 2000, when the Ahmedabad District Co-Operative bank was in totters and declared a weak bank due to lack of leadership, Shah was brought in as the Chairman of the Bank.

Only a year after he took over, the Bank cleared its debts and fell in line of other profit-making banks, with declaration of 10 per cent dividend. Today, Ahmedabad District Co-Operative Bank Ltd is a leading bank among the 367 co-operative banks in the country.

S. Jaishankar: Diplomat-turned-administrator

Former Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar, who played a key role in shaping the foreign policy of Prime Minister Narendra Modis first term, induction in the Council of Ministers marks a recognition of the exceptional work of what he did in the Foreign Ministry.

Known for his acumen, sharpness and extraordinary efficiency, the 64-year-old Indian Foreign Service (IFS) officer on Thursday took oath as a Cabinet Minister though he is not a member of either House of Parliament.

The 1977 batch officer has served in various capacities in the External Affairs Ministry and as India's envoy in key countries like the US and China.

He was the Foreign Secretary from January 2015 to January 2018 and played a key role in shaping Modi's foreign policy during his first term, which saw a significant growth and expansion of India's ties with key countries, particularly the US and the Arab nations.

Prior to that, during his tenure as India's Ambassador to the US from September 2013 till taking over as the Foreign Secretary, he played a major role in bringing the US Administration and the Modi government closer.

He also planned and executed a highly successful maiden visit of Prime Minister Modi to the US in September 2014 and his landmark address to the Indian diaspora at the Madison Square.

A major highlight of his diplomatic career was his tenure as Joint Secretary in-charge of Americas Division from 2004 to 2007 when he was involved in negotiating the historic Civil Nuclear Agreement.

He also led the Indian team of negotiators for the subsequent 123 Agreement with the US, which was linked to the Civil Nuclear deal and concluded in 2009.

Jaishankar, who was honoured with India's fourth highest civilian award Padma Shri in January, also played a key role in improving the defence cooperation between India and the US.

Jaishankar's tenure as India's Ambassador to China from 2009 to 2013, which was the longest by any IFS officer, coincided with several major developments in bilateral relations.

It was his briefing to the Cabinet Committee on Security in 2010 regarding China's refusal to issue a visa to the Northern Army Commander which led to suspension of Indian defence co-operation with China and military exercises, before the matter was resolved in April 2011.

Also in 2010, Jaishankar negotiated an end to the Chinese policy of issuing stapled visas to Indians from Jammu and Kashmir.

Born on January 15, 1955, Jaishankar, son of well known strategic expert K. Subrahmaniam, joined the Indian Foreign Service in 1977.

His first posting abroad were as Third and Second Secretary (Political) in Moscow from 1979 to 1981.

From 1981 to 1985, he served as under-secretary (Americas) and policy planning in the Ministry of External Affairs.

He then spent three years from 1985 to 1988 as First Secretary, handling political affairs at the Indian Embassy in Washington DC, followed by two years as First Secretary and political advisor to the Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF) in Sri Lanka.

In 1990, Jaishankar became Commercial Counsellor in Budapest. After three years, he returned to India where he served first as director of the East Europe division of the External Affairs Ministry and then as Press Secretary to the President of India.

Jaishankar went abroad again - to Tokyo in 1996 as deputy chief of mission. In 2000, he was appointed the Ambassador to Czech Republic and was there till 2004.

Jaishankar returned to India where he led the Americas Division in the MEA.

After heading the division for three years, he was posted High Commissioner to Singapore in 2007 for two years.

Harsimrat Kaur: Badal 'bahu' back in Modi cabinet

Harsimrat Kaur

Harsimrat Kaur Badal, who held the portfolio of Food Processing Industry in the previous Modi-led central government, got a Union cabinet berth for a second term on Thursday.

Wife of Shiromani Akali Dal chief Sukhbir Badal and daughter-in-law of five-time Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, she retained the Bathinda Lok Sabha seat for a third consecutive term.

The husband-wife duo has won the parliamentary polls. The man known for micro poll management of his 98-year-old party, Sukhbir Badal won from Ferozepur by a record margin of 1,97,008 votes.

In 2009, she defeated Congress leader Raninder Singh, son of present Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, by over one lakh votes.

In 2014, Harsimrat Kaur defeated her estranged brother-in-law Manpreet Singh Badal, now the Punjab Finance Minister.

This time, Harsimrat, who will turn 53 on July 25, managed to defeat Congress candidate and legislator Amrinder Singh Raja Warring by a thin margin of 21,772 votes in a closely contested battle.

Harsimrat holds a degree in textile design and is a mother of three -- two daughters and a son.

Her political career was prefaced with the launch of Nanhi Chhaan, a non-profit organisation set up with the objective of addressing adverse gender ratio and environmental degradation.

Her husband Sukhbir Badal refused to join the Modi cabinet as being the party chief he believes that his focus should now be on rebuilding the Akali Dal that has lost ground in the state, her aide told IANS.

Former Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Badal remained the Minister of State for Industry during the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government in 1998-99.

Prakash Javadekar in Modi Ministry again


Born in a Brahmin family on January 30, 1951, Prakash K. Javadekar hails from Maharashtra's cultural, academic and IT capital - Pune. A Bachelor of Commerce graduate from University of Pune, the 68-year-old was active in politics from his student days.

He was active during the Emergency and was arrested and jailed for nearly 16 months for leading several agitations and protests in those days.

After playing different roles in the party's youth wing - Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha, he later joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), serving in various positions including state party Secretary, was elected twice to the Maharashtra Legislative Council, and later to the Rajya Sabha.

During the first term of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Javadekar served first as a junior minister handling several portfolios - Parliamentary Affairs, and later Information and Broadcasting, and also Environment, Forest and Climate Change (both ministries as independent charge).

In the 2016 cabinet reshuffle, he earned the trust of Modi and was allotted the critical Human Resource and Development Ministry and has contributed hugely to the development, improvement and streamlining of various educational systems in the country.

At the party level, he is the official BJP national spokesperson, a post which he earlier held even in Maharashtra.

Piyush Goyal: Investment banker-turned-politician

190211 Piyush Goyal

Mumbai-born Rajya Sabha Member Piyush Goyal, 55, hails from a well-known political family. His father was Late Vedprakash Goyal who was a Union minister in former Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee's cabinet and longtime Bharatiya Janata Party Treasurer. His mother Chandrakanta Goyal was a three-time Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLA from Mumbai.

An alumnus of the Don Bosco School, Matunga, Goyal completed his Chartered Accountant standing second in the country and law degree from the University of Mumbai.

He started his professional career as an investment banker and served as a government nominated Director on boards of State Bank of India and Bank Of Baroda.

In the first government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi formed in 2014, Goyal has handled important ministries -- first as a junior independent Minister in key economic drivers like Coal, Power and New and Renewable Energies and later as Cabinet Minister for Railways and briefly for Finance and Corporate Affairs.

Goyal, considered among the trusted aides of Modi, on Thursday took the oath as a Union Minister in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's new ministry. Given his expertise in financial matters, Goyal is likely to be awarded a portfolio matching his interests.

Dr Harsh Vardhan: Two-time MP from crucial Chandni Chowk LS seat


An ENT specialist by profession, Dr Harsh Vardhan has defeated a union minister and an MP to get a second term from Delhi's Chandni Chowk parliamentary seat.

In the recently concluded general elections, Vardhan defeated Congress candidate Jai Prakash Agarwal by a margin of 2,28,145 votes. While Vardhan received 52.94 votes, runner-up Agarwal polled 29.67 votes.

In 2014, he won the Chandni Chowk Lok Sabha seat defeating Congress' Kapil Sibal, who was then the Union Minister of Law and Justice.

He has served as the incumbent minister for Science and Technology, Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change and Ministry of Earth Sciences.

In 1992, he was elected as a member of the Delhi Assembly from Krishna Nagar. He was appointed as the State Minister of Health and Minister of Law for Delhi. He later became the state Minister of Education in 1996. Vardhan has been re-elected from the same constituency in the 1998, 2003, 2008 and 2013 Assembly elections.

During the 2013 Assembly elections, Vardhan, due to his clean image, was propelled as BJP's chief ministerial candidate to take on Arvind Kejriwal's Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in Delhi. The BJP won 32 seats, but the AAP and Congress formed a coalition government.

Sadananda Gowda: BJP veteran from Karnataka

D.V. Sadananda Gowda

Karnataka's Sadananda Gowda on Thursday took oath as a Union Minister in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's new ministry.

Gowda got elected for the second time from the prestigious Bangalore North seat in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. He became the Union Minister for the first time in May 2014 in the NDA-1 government.

Though Gowda was first appointed as the Minister for Railways in May 2014, he was shifted within a few months to the Law and Justice Ministry in November 2014 and later to Statistics and Programme Implementation in July 2016 during the cabinet reshuffles.

After the sudden death of Union Minister H.N. Ananth Kumar on November 12, 2018, Gowda was given the Chemicals and Fertilisers Ministry as an additional charge which he held till the government's five-year term ended this month.

Born on March 18, 1953, Kumar was six times elected as a member of the Lok Sabha from the high-profile Bangalore South seat.

After the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) lost power in the state in 2013 Assembly elections, Gowda was the party's opposition leader in the state legislative council from May 2013 to May 2014.

Gowda was BJP's second Chief Minister in Karnataka from August 1, 2011 to July 2012. The party's first Chief Minister of the state was B.S. Yeddyurappa who resigned on July 31, 2011.

Before returning to state politics, Gowda was the Lok Sabha member from Udupi-Chikmagalur from May 2009 to 2011 and from Mangalore (Dakshina Kannada) from 2004 to 2009.

He was a member of the state Legislative Assembly and opposition leader for two terms from his home turf Puttur in the coastal district from 1994 to 2004.

A Bachelor of Science and LLB degree holder, Gowda entered into student politics during his college days when pursuing law course in the mid-1970s and became the district General Secretary of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), the student wing of the Jan Sangh and later the BJP.

Gowda was also the state unit party President from 2006 to 2011.

Nitin Gadkari: The man who paved BJP's road to success

Nitin Gadkari

A self-made politician-cum-businessman, Nitin J. Gadkari, 62, hails from Nagpur in eastern Maharashtra and started his political career with the ABVP and BJYM wings of the RSS and BJP respectively.

An endearing and mild-mannered person adept at winning friends and influencing people, Gadkari, who is a Brahmin by birth, joined the BJP and later became a minister in Maharashtra's first opposition saffron-combine Shiv Sena-BJP government headed by Manohar Joshi (1995-1999).

Enjoying excellent personal rapport with leaders of all parties, and with his penchant for improving the basic transport infrastructure in the state, he quickly gained prominence and was the moving spirit behind the hundreds of flyovers, roads, state and national highways, including the Mumbai-Pune Expressway.

He occupied several positions in Maharashtra, including state BJP president and Leader of the Opposition, but his big moment of responsibility came in 2009, when he was elected the BJP President, a post which he held till 2013.

The mandate was to revamp and rebuild the party, which had faced a rout in two successive Lok Sabha elections (2004-2009), besides in several other states that left the cadres demoralised. And Gadkari he lived upto the challenge.

In the first term of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Gadkari handled crucial and high-visibility infrastructure-related portfolios like Road Transport & Highways, Shipping, etc and made his indelible mark there.

Given his all-round experience and no-nonsense approach to work, Gadkari may be allotted key portfolios in the second Modi government.

Ravi Shankar Prasad: BJP's articulate spokesman returns to Modi government


An articulate and sophisticated spokesman for the BJP, Ravi Shankar Prasad was a key aide to then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and his deputy L.K. Advani and later a confidant of Prime Minister Narendra Modi who retained him in his cabinet after returning to power in the 2019 polls.

The Supreme Court lawyer-turned-politician first shot to fame in the mid-1990s when he pleaded cases against then Bihar Chief Minister Lalu Prasad in the fodder scam. It was Ravi Shankar Prasad and two others who filed a PIL demanding a Central Bureau of Investigation into the scam.

Prasad, 65, termed himself "Patna ka ladka" as he contested Lok Sabha polls - for the first time - from Patna Sahib seat after four terms in the Rajya Sabha. He won with a big margin, defeating actor-turned-politician and sitting MP Shatrughan Sinha, who had switched over to the Congress.

Born and brought up in Patna in an educated Kayasth family, he was active in student politics since his days in Patna University. Prasad always had a strong leaning towards right-wing politics since his father Thakur Prasad was a Jan Sangh leader, who played an important role in establishing it in the state. As an ABVP leader, he joined the anti-Emergency agitation on the call by veteran leader Jai Prakash Narayan.

Unlike other RSS leaders, Prasad was fluent in English and it was this that helped to draw Vajpayee and Advani's attention to him as the BJP gained national prominence in the 1990s. Made a member of BJP National Executive, the party's top policymaking body, in 1995, he was inducted into the Vajpayee government in 2001.

Made party spokesperson in 2006, he was, for over two decades, the face of the BJP in TV debates. He did not hang up his legal robes, for he appeared as the counsel for "Ram Lalla" (deity) in the Ram Janambhoomi-Babri Masjid title suit case before the Allahabad High Court.

Made a minister in the Modi government when it came to power in 2014, he held various key portfolios including Communications, Information Technology, and Law and Justice.

Dharmendra Pradhan: From ABVP activist to Union Minister


Known for his organisational skills, Dharmendra Pradhan is all set to be a cabinet minister again during the second term of the Narendra Modi government.

Pradhan, who held important portfolios like Petroleum and Natural Gas and Skill Development in the previous NDA government, was the prominent face of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in just concluded Lok Sabha and Assembly polls in Odisha.

Even though he lost one Assembly election from the Pallahara constituency in 2009, Pradhan's political journey has witnessed a rise and rise. Pradhan, who has been elected to the upper house of the Parliament this time from Madhya Pradesh, is a three-time MP and one-time MLA.

Backed by Pradhan's organisational skills, the saffron party got eight out of the total 21 Lok Sabha seats in Odisha while its vote share in the twin polls increased significantly.

Son of former Union Minister Debendra Pradhan, Dharmendra was born on June 26, 1969, in Talcher. He belongs to the Other Backward Caste (OBC) category. He is married to Mridula Pradhan and has two children Nishant and Naimisha.

He started his political carrier as an Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) activist in 1983 while pursuing higher secondary education in Talcher College. He became the president of student union in Talcher in 1985. Later, he became the national secretary of ABVP.

He did his M.A. in Anthropology from Utkal University in Odisha.

Pradhan became an MLA from Pallahara constituency in 2000 when the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) came to power in Odisha in alliance with the BJP. Pradhan was conferred the 'Best Legislator Award', the Utkalmani Gopabandhu Pratibha Samman in 2002-03 and the Odisha Citizens' Award in 2013.

He represented the Deogarh Lok Sabha constituency of Odisha in the 2004 elections.

Having proved his organisational skills, Pradhan became the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha National President from 2004 to 2006.

In addition to being a BJP general secretary, he has worked as party's election in-charge for Bihar as also an in-charge of party affairs in Karnataka, Uttarakhand, Jharkhand and Odisha.

A close confidant of BJP President Amit Shah, Pradhan was instrumental in ensuring the BJP's victory in Bihar in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.

In 2014, when the NDA came to power led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Pradhan became the Petroleum Minister with independent charge. Later, he was promoted to cabinet rank and given the additional portfolio of Skill Development in 2017.

Pradhan is the first Odia to have become a Rajya Sabha MP from other state. He first got the Rajya Sabha representation from Bihar in 2012, and then from Madhya Pradesh in 2018.

As the Union Petroleum Minister, Pradhan has been the architect of several progressive reforms and initiatives being implemented in the sector. Consumer initiatives like PAHAL and the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana have earned praise across the country.

Smriti Irani: Giant killer of LS battle again in Modi cabinet

190523 Smriti Irani

Smriti Irani is the giant killer of this Lok Sabha election who vanquished Congress President Rahul Gandhi. An articulate face of the BJP and a go-getter, she has emerged as a trouble shooter for the ruling party.

An actor-turned-politician, Irani has been one of the more visible faces of the Modi government and has often been called upon to articulate the Bharatiya Janata Party's point of view.

She managed the Amethi feat by remaining in touch with the electorate there, despite losing the election five years ago, and worked to bring development projects to the constituency when Narendra Modi was the Prime Minister.

Irani's induction in the union cabinet in 2014 and the Human Resource Development portfolio she bagged created a buzz. She later moved to the Textiles Ministry. In between, she was also given the Information and Broadcasting portfolio.

The Congress attack on her over her educational qualifications did not impact her electoral fortunes.

Born on March 23, 1976, Irani is a former model who became a household name after her role as Tulsi Virani in the iconic TV show "Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi".

When she moved to Mumbai, she briefly worked at a McDonald's outlet to support herself while auditioning for work in showbiz.

She first became a member of the Rajya Sabha in 2011 and has also headed the BJP Mahila Morcha.

Nirmala Sitharaman: The first full time woman defence minister, retained


Nirmala Sitharaman was the first woman to be appointed full-time Defence Minister of India in September 2017 -- and since then she has been assiduously trying to adopt a holistic approach in addressing the country's security challenges.

60-year-old Sitharaman, a Rajya Sabha member, is the second woman to take charge of the crucial ministry after Indira Gandhi who as the Prime Minister also held the portfolio in the seventies.

One of BJP's chief spokespersons before its ascent to power, Sitharaman is an alumnus of Jawaharlal Nehru University and London School of Economics.

As the Defence Minister, Sitharaman attempted to strengthen the Army, Navy and the Air Force and was credited for expediting the decision making process relating to defence procurement. She constituted a Defence Planning Committee to formulate an "action plan" to effectively deal with various security challenges facing the nation.

However, her biggest moment came when India carried out air strikes on a terrorist training camp in Pakistan's Balakot, seen as major policy shift in the country's efforts to deal with cross border terrorism.

She took on the opposition head on with her fiery defence of the Rafale fighter jet deal in Parliament.

She has also focused on boosting domestic defence production besides taking steps to implement the ambitious "strategic partnership" model with several countries like the United States and Russia.

Under the new model, select Indian private firms will be roped in to build military platforms like submarines and fighter jets in India in partnership with foreign defence majors.

Sitharaman was born on August 18, 1959 in the temple town of Madurai, Tamil Nadu. She did her schooling and her graduation in Economics, from Seethalakshmi Ramaswamy College in Tiruchirapalli.

She went on to do her Masters in Economics from Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi.

Sitharaman served as an assistant to Economist in the Agricultural Engineers Association, UK in London. She subsequently worked as Senior Manager (Research and Analysis) with Price Waterhouse, London. During this time she also briefly worked with BBC World Service. On her return to India, she served as Deputy Director of the Centre for Public Policy Studies at Hyderabad.

Sitharaman joined the Bharatiya Janata Party in 2008, and was made a member of the National Executive. She was nominated as party spokesperson in March 2010 and has been a full time party worker since then. She was inducted in the Union Cabinet on May 26, 2014 as the Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Commerce and Industry.  

Ram Vilas Paswan: Master political craftsman who has worked under 6 PMs

Ram Vilas Paswan

A politician with an uncanny knack for sensing which way the wind is blowing, Lok Janshakti Party chief Ram Vilas Paswan has a rare distinction of serving as a minister in the cabinets of six prime ministers.

The septuagenarian had started off as a member of the Bihar legislative assembly in the 1960s and shot to fame in the 1977 post-Emergency Lok Sabha polls when he won Hajipur seat by over four lakh votes, then a record margin.

Another emphatic victory in 1989 earned him his first stint in the cabinet of V P Singh, who appointed him as labour minister.

Less than a decade later, he was back as railway minister in successive governments headed by H D Deve Gowda and I K Gujaral which together lasted for a couple of years.

The Janata Dal faction, with which he was associated in the 1990s, sided with the BJP-led NDA and Paswan was made the minister for communications, and later coal in the government headed by Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

Later, he floated his own party with a view to exploring the possibilities as the foremost Dalit leader in Bihar after Babu Jagjivan Ram.

The Gujarat riots of 2002 saw him quit the NDA in protest and gravitate towards the Congress-led UPA, which came to power two years later. He was appointed the minister for chemicals and fertilizers and steel under Manmohan Singh.

His relations with the Congress got strained during the UPA-2 when he was denied a ministerial berth following his party's debacle in the 2009 Lok Sabha polls. Paswan himself was defeated at his own citadel of Hajipur.

Ahead of the 2014 Lok Sabha polls the BJP, which was looking for allies in Bihar so they could help it make up for the loss of Chief Minister Nitish Kumars JD(U), welcomed him with open arms and offered him seven seats to contest. The LJP won six, including Paswan, his son Chirag and brother Ram Chandra.

As the minister for food and public distribution and consumer affairs under Narendra Modi, Paswan made his mark as a stout votary of the government whenever it came under attack on issues of social justice. He handled efficiently the pulses and sugar sector crisis besides bringing reforms in the Public Distribution System.

He did not contest the recent Lok Sabha polls. His younger brother and Bihar minister Pashupati Kumar Paras won from Hajipur. Paswan is now set to enter the Rajya Sabha, most likely from Bihar. 

Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank: Poet-politician gets a ministerial berth

After his term as the Uttarakhand chief minister ended in 2011, Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank remained in political wilderness of sorts for eight years.

On Thursday, he was sworn-in as minister in the Narendra Modi cabinet.

During these years, he won every election he contested, but did not get any ministerial berth in his state or at the Centre.

Nishank won the Doiwala assembly seat in 2012. Two years later, he vacated the seat to contest from Haridwar in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, defeating the then chief minister Harish Rawat's wife Renuka by 1.7 lakh votes.

In the 2019 elections, he retained the seat, defeating Ambrish Kumar of the Congress by a bigger margin of 2.59 lakh votes.

Nishank has been elected to the state assembly five times, first in undivided Uttar Pradesh and later Uttarakhand from 1991 to 2014.

He is said to be close to BJP president Amit Shah and Nitin Gadkari. He is also known for proximity to yoga guru Ramdev.

According to a survey conducted by the Association for Democratic Reforms, he asked 389 questions in the Lok Sabha, the maximum among the five MPs from the state.

Nishank is a prolific Hindi writer with 36 works to his credit, of which 10 have been translated into other languages.

His works include novels, short stories, poems and travelogues. He holds a PhD degree from Hemwati Nandan Bahuguna Garhwal University.

Nishank hails from Pinani village in Pauri, a district which has produced personalities like Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, Uttarakhand CM Trivendra Singh Rawat, Army chief Bipin Rawat and National Security Adviser Ajit Doval.

Arjun Munda: Popular tribal leader who loves golf, painting

Arjun Munda

Arjun Munda is a prominent tribal face not only in his home state of Jharkhand but also in neighbouring Bihar, Odisha and Chhattisgarh.

A three-time chief minister, Munda edged out Congress's Kalicharan Munda by a wafer thin margin of just 1445 votes in Khunti(ST) seat besides campaigning for the BJP in the Lok Sabha elections in Odisha and Chhattisgarh.

He is a passionate golf player and loves playing the flute and spends his spare time in art and painting.

He has also promoted archery in the tribal state. He runs an archery academy and was instrumental in the rise of ace archer Deepika Kumari in international championships.

A witness to the rise and fall of governments in Jharkhand since its inception in 2000 to 2014, Munda was himself a victim twice to the politics of musical chairs when Independent MLA Madhu Koda toppled him in September, 2006 and then the JMM pulled down his government in 2013.

Munda first became chief minister in March, 2003 when he replaced the state's first chief minister Babulal Marandi after JDU and Samata Party MLAs had revolted against the latter's style of functioning. He was the tribal affairs minister in the first Marandi-led NDA government.

The 51-year-old tribal leader also won a by-election for Lok Sabha seat from Jamshedpur and held the post of BJP's national general secretary.

Munda, who began his career with the JMM during the statehood struggle before joining the saffron brigade, was first elected as MLA in 1995 in undivided Bihar and went on to win three consecutive terms from Kharsawan before losing the seat in 2014.  

J-K's Jitendra Singh a known face in national politics

Jitendra Singh

From curing patients to streamlining bureaucracy, Jitendra Singh has worn many hats in his career.

Singh's potential earned him recognition in the national political scene after he rose from state-level politics in Jammu and Kashmir. He was inducted as the minister of state in all-powerful Prime Minister's Office in 2014 as a first time Lok Sabha member.

Always affable, Singh was the minister of state for personnel, public grievances and pensions, Department of Atomic Energy and Space until the dissolution of 16th Lok Sabha recently.

The doctor-turned-politician was the minister of state (independent charge) in the Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region.

Singh won the second time from the Udhampur constituency in Jammu and Kashmir, defeating Congress's Vikramaditya Singh with a record margin of over 3.57 lakh votes in the recent Lok Sabha elections.

He was administered the oath as minister of state with independent charge by President Ram Nath Kovind at Rashtrapati Bhavan Thursday.

Many key reforms like abolishing interviews at junior-level recruitment in government jobs and doing away the need for attestation by a gazetted officer were brought in during his tenure to ease governance and make it citizen-centric.

He also brought major changes in resolving governance-related grievances received from people across the country, which was one of the key focus areas of the government.

Singh's ministry played a crucial role in processing appointment in the country's first anti-corruption ombudsman Lokpal, that also took shape during his tenure as the personnel minister.

He had been vocal about his views for the welfare of his home state, at times facing the ire of local politicians there.

His handling of critically important matters related to bureaucracy, governance and approach towards the development of the north-eastern region was praised by many, including his party BJP and the RSS, its political ideologue.

Singh wears many hats — a medical practitioner, author, professor and newspaper columnist. He has a flair for writing and has authored six books and chapters in about a dozen textbooks for postgraduate course in medicine.

An MBBS and MD (Medicine), Singh was educated at Stanley Medical College, Chennai and at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi. PTI AKV MAZ MAZ

Rao Inderjit Singh is BJP's face in south Haryana

Rao Inderjit Singh, a prominent leader from predominant Ahir community of southern Haryana, is again a part of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's cabinet.

Singh has dominated south Haryana politics for decades and is now the BJP's face from that region.

Having been elected as Lok Sabha MP for the fifth term now, of which second term as a BJP member, Singh over the years has enjoyed unflinching support of the Yadav community, also known as Ahirs.

Retaining his Gurugram seat, the 69-year-old leader this time defeated Congress veteran Ajay Singh Yadav by 3,86,256 votes. Yadav is a former six-time MLA from Rewari.

He has cultivated his image as a 'no-nonsense' person and during his stint as BJP MP, the Gurugram parliamentary constituency saw many developmental projects coming to the region.

These include AIIMS at Rewari, improvement in road infrastructure and setting up of Gurugram Metropolitan Development Authority, among other projects.

Months before the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, Singh, who was then sitting Congress MP from Gurugram, had alleged bias in development works in south Haryana, and snapped his nearly four-decade association with the grand old party to join the BJP.

The veteran leader, a descendant of legendary Ahir leader Rao Tula Ram, during his stint as Union minister in the Modi government, served in various capacities, including as Union Minister of State for Planning and Minister of State for Chemicals and Fertilisers.

Under the UPA dispensation, he had served as Minister of State for External Affairs and Defence Production.

As a parliamentarian, Singh was the chairman of Standing Committee on Information Technology.

The prestigious Lawrence School, Sanawar educated and a law graduate who is widely travelled, has also been a four-term MLA from Haryana between 1977 and 2004. Singh believes the mantra of his and his party's success is good governance, development and trust.

"The expectations of people are high and we will work hard to live up to these," Singh maintains. 

Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi: BJP's prominent Muslim face


Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi joined the BJP in 1986 while he was in college and decades later, he emerged as one of the prominent Muslim faces of his party.

The 61-year-old BJP leader, who held the minority affairs portfolio in the outgoing council of ministers, has been appointed Cabinet minister again.

He was administered the oath of office by President Ram Nath Kovind on Thursday.

A member of the Rajya Sabha, Naqvi was rewarded for his hard work to ensure the BJP's victory in the recent Lok Sabha elections.

As a student, Naqvi actively participated in social, political activities and students' movements.

He took part in many political campaigns during the Emergency period and was even detained at Naini Central Jail at the age of 17.

However, it was not the only time Naqvi was imprisoned. He went to jail over three dozen times for several national movements.

He was the district vice president and general secretary of Yuva Janata (youth wing of the Janata Party), Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh, from 1978 to 1979.

He went on to become an elected member of the state executive of the Yuva Janata, Uttar Pradesh.

Naqvi then became the youth wing's general secretary. He was eventually appointed all India vice president of Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha, a post he held from 1992 to 1997.

He swiftly rose through the ranks of the BJP and became the party's national spokesperson.

When he was elected to the Lok Sabha for the first time in 1998, he was appointed minister of state in the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, with the additional charge of the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs.

During the just concluded Lok Sabha elections, Naqvi courted controversy with his "Modiji ki sena" (Modi's army) remarks.

The Election Commission warned him against using the armed forces for political propaganda and asked him to be careful in future.

He made the remarks at an election rally in Rampur on April 3. 

R K Singh: Arrah MP becomes minister in Modi 2.0

Bureaucrat-turned politician and second time Lok Sabha member from Arrah in Bihar, R K Singh was inducted into the council of ministers of new Modi government Thursday.

Singh, who was the minister of state for power, and new and renewable energy in the outgoing government, was instrumental in the launch of household electrification scheme Saubhagya that one of the poll planks of Modi government.

According to the power ministry data, around 2.63 crore families were provided electricity connections under the scheme.

Singh also played a major role in scaling up India's renewable energy capacity. India has set an ambitious target of having 175 GW of renewable energy including 100 GW of solar energy and 60 GW of wind energy by 2022. India achieved 78 GW of clean energy including 28GW of solar and 36 GW of wind energy as on April 2019.

Singh joined the Indian Police Service in 1974 and then Indian Administrative Service in 1975. He was District Magistrate of East Champaran from 1981 to 1983 as well as District Magistrate of Patna from 1983 to 1985.

When there were numerous escapes from prison, Singh was posted as Inspector General of Prisons. He was the administrator of the State Cooperative Marketing Federation. He was Joint Secretary in the Ministry of Home Affairs from 2000 to 2005. He was instrumental in revamping the scheme for police Modernisation and started the scheme for Prison Modernisation.

He also laid down the framework for Disaster Management. He started the NDRF (National Disaster Response Force).

Singh was also principal secretary, Road Construction Department of Bihar from 2006 to 2009 and transformed the road network of the state from being one of the worst in the country to be one of the best in the country.

He joined again the Government of India as Secretary, Department of Defence Production in 2009. As Secretary, Defence Production (2009-2011) ensured that the production from Ordnance Factories, Defence Shipyards, the Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd and other Defence Manufacturing facilities touched record levels.

Singh has been elected as Lok Sabha MP from Arrah for the second time. He won the seat by a margin of 1,47,285 votes defeating Raju Yadav of CPM in the recent polls.

Narendra Singh Tomar: From Yuva Morcha man to cabinet minister

Narendra Singh Tomar

Narendra Singh Tomar, a three-time MP who was made to the Union Cabinet for the second time, has come a long way in politics after starting as a BJP youth wing leader in the early 80s.

It was Tomar who conducted the ceremony in the Central Hall of Parliament when Narendra Modi was unanimously elected by the NDA's constituent parties as their leader.

Born on June 12, 1957 at Murar in Gwalior district, Tomar was president of the Gwalior unit of the BJP youth wing from 1980-84.

He was elected as a councilor in 1983, entered the Madhya Pradesh assembly in 1998 and served as a minister in the BJP government in the state from 2003-2007.

Later he was appointed as state BJP president. After a brief stint as a Rajya Sabha member, Tomar was elected to the Lok Sabha from Morena in 2009.

In 2014, he won the Lok Sabha election from Gwalior and was made a cabinet minister, heading several ministries including mines, steel, labour and employment and rural development and panchayati raj. He returned to Morena in the 2019 election, winning by a margin of over 1.13 lakh votes.

Arvind Sawant: Managing poll booths to Union minister

From building the party's organisation in northern Maharashtra's Dhule to wresting the high-profile Mumbai South seat, it has been a long journey for Shiv Sena lawmaker Arvind Sawant who has got a berth in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's cabinet.

Known as a leader accessible to party workers and people, Sawant made a mark during his first term in the Lok Sabha in 2014 with his speeches which reflected a detailed analysis of the issues concerned and suggestions on policy decisions.

The 68-year-old leader, who retained his Mumbai-South seat this time by defeating Congress's Milind Deora by over 1 lakh votes, has been associated with the Shiv Sena since the party's early years.

Sawant, who is now deputy leader of the party and its spokesman, started in 1968 as a 'gat pramukh', the lowest rung of hierarchy, rendering his services in poll duties and participating in various agitations organised by the Sena.

He was also associated with the party's Stanik Lokadhikar Samiti, whose primary demand was jobs for "bhoomi putra" or sons of the soil.

Described as a grassroot organisation man, Sawant helped the Uddhav Thackeray-led party make inroads in north Maharashtra and Marathwada.

The Sena extended its base in north Maharashtra when he was its coordinator for the region, where it won the Dhule Municipal Corporation for the first time in 1995 and later five of its MLAs were elected in Nashik district.

Sawant also handled the party work in Pune, Nashik and Ahmednagar districts and ensured its success in Jalgaon, Nanded, Hingoli and Kalyan-Dombivali as 'sampark pramukh'.

He was an engineer at the Mahanagar Telephone Network Ltd (MTNL) till 1995 and took voluntary retirement after he was nominated to the Maharashtra Legislative Council from governor's quota after Shiv Sena-BJP government came to power. He is currently the president of the MTNL trade union.

He was later elected as MLC from the Mumbai Local Bodies constituency.

He was earlier also general secretary of the State Transport Kamgar Sena where he helped set up unions in 30 districts.

He also served as a member of the standing committee on petroleum and natural gas, Parliament estimate committee and consulting committee on IT.

Raosaheb D. Patil Danve: A man who built BJP in Maharashtra

A school passout, Raosaheb D. Patil Danve, 64, is a five-time MP from Jalna and also the Maharashtra BJP President who returns to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's ministry a second time.

Starting his activist life as a village Sarpanch, he is considered a grassroots leader who rose up the ranks to become an MLA twice, then MP five times, a Minister in Maharashtra, and also served for one year as Minister of State in the first term of Modi.

After the BJP-Shiv Sena took power in Maharashtra in October 2014, then state party President Devendra Fadnavis was elected Chief Minister after stepping down as the party chief in the state.

The hunt for a suitable BJP head in Maharashtra zeroed in on Patil Danve, who offered to quit his post in the centre to spearhead the BJP in the state.

Born on March 18, 1955, the Maratha leader became only the second BJP leader after Suryabhan Vahadane-Patil to hold the post of party chief while being a Lok Sabha member.

His appointment also balanced the crucial caste factor in the state with a Brahmin (Fadnavis) as the Chief Minister.

Under Patil Danve's leadership, the BJP grew in Maharashtra's rural areas, consolidated itself in urban centres and scored big in several local elections. In the Lok Sabha elections, the BJP won 23 of the 48 seats while ally Shiv Sena got 18 seats.

Babul Supriyo: From singer to minister

Singer-turned-politician and former Minister of State for Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises in the last NDA government, Babul Supriyo, was sworned-in the new cabinet of Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday.

Supriyo retained his Lok Sabha constituency seat of Asansol in the 2019 general elections.

Supriyo has played many a part with aplomb at various stages of life. Born and bred in the small town of Uttarpara in Bengal's Hooghly district, the grandson of noted Bengali vocalist and composer Banikantha N.C. Baral, Supriyo made a big bang entry into politics five years back, when he scored a big upset by winning the Lok Sabha election from Asansol constituency.

Babul Supriyo Image Credit: IANS

The BJP was then organisationally quite weak in Bengal, but Babul charmed the electorate with his affable nature, hard work, go-getter personality and simple but impressionable speeches to become one of the only two BJP MPs from the state at that time.

Supriyo was inducted into the first Modi government as a Minister of State (MoS) in the Ministry of Urban Development; and Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation. He was then given the position of MoS for Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises.

The 48-year-old Supriyo's steely resolve with a cool-as-a-cucumber exterior has over the years impressed many people, one of them being Modi.

Born on December 15, 1970, and married to an air-hostess, Rachna Sharma, - his second wife - Supriyo has taken special interest in the under-construction East West Metro Railway project over the past five years, monitoring every step in its progress and going all out to solve the various bottlenecks.

A B.Com Honours degree holder, Supriyo is articulate and a face of the party in Bengali television debates and panel discussions.

The man, who at the start of his career as an entertainer changed his birth name of Supriya Baral to Babul Supriyo, made his mark as an accomplished singer in both Hindi and Bengali films, besides coming out with hit solo albums. He has to his credit hits like "Dil Ne Dil Ko Pukara", "Pari Pari Hai Ek Pari" and the title song of the movie "Hum Tum".

He has also acted in two films of Srijit Mukherjee - "Uma" and "Shah Jahan Regency". Srijit recently announced that Supriyo would also act in his forthcoming film "Gumnami" based on Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose's life.

While his political career so far has been quite a fairy tale, Supriyo courted controversy when Trinamool Congress leader Mahua Moitra filed a police complaint against the singer-politician for allegedly insulting her during a television debate.

Under him, the Heavy Industries Ministry saw new initiatives like a push for electric vehicles and a plan to restructure and sell-off of loss making PSUs like Scooter India.

Debasree Chaudhuri: A BJP street fighter in Bengal

A prominent face in the various agitations spearheaded by the BJP against West Bengal's Mamata Banerjee government, Debasree Chaudhuri has been a long time activist of the saffron outfit.

Having worked in the party's youth and women's wings Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha and Mahila Morcha, she is now one of the General Secretaries in the party's state unit.

Realizing her potential, the BJP five years back fielded Chaudhuri as its candidate from the Burdwan-Durgapur Lok Sabha constituency where she finished third getting around 17 per cent of the votes.

In 2019, the BJP again told her to contest the Lok Sabha battle from north Bengal's Raiganj, a seat the party hoped to win.

This time Chaudhuri finally tasted victory, humbling among others seasoned politicians like Deepa Dasmunsi of the Congress and CPI-M's Mohammad Salim.

The 48-year-old spinster, hailing from Khadimpur in Balurghat of South Dinajpur district, is an M.A. in Bengali from Burdwan University.

Chaudhuri mentions her occupation as social service and her election affidavit says that her sources of income are tuition and consultancy.

Rameswar Teli, a simple man with high popularity

When Prime Minister Narendra Modi inducted Rameswar Teli into his cabinet on Thursday, happiness swept across Assam, particularly the tea garden areas of the state.

Many in Assam feel a cabinet berth to the young and dynamic MP like Teli was long overdue.

Born on August 14, 1970 to Budhu Teli (father) and Dukla Teli (mother) in the Tipling area of Dibrugarh district of Assam, Rameswar Teli has walked a long thorny path to become the Lok Sabha member from the Dibrugarh Lok Sabha constituency.

A two-time BJP legislator from the Duliajan Assembly seat in Assam, Teli has been springing surprises since his political debut.

In 2001, he contested the Assam Assembly polls on a BJP ticket first time and defeated the Congress candidate in the Duliajan constituency, a Congress stronghold. Teli retained the seat in 2006 Assembly polls, but lost it to Amiya Gogoi in 2011. The defeat, however, failed to dent his popularity.

His popularity made the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) field him in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls from Dibrugarh against Congress strongman and former Union Minister Paban Singh Ghatowar, who had retained the seat for five terms since 1991.

Teli defeated Ghatowar with over 1,85,000 votes. He again beat Ghatowar in Dibrugarh in this Lok Sabha polls and with the highest margin of 3,64,566 votes in Assam.

Teli, a bachelor, is popular in the area for his ordinary lifestyle and amicable nature.

While his parents still live in the thatched house in Tipling, his uncle is a handcart puller. When in his constituency, Teli operates from his office, which is made of bamboo, like most house in the rural Assam.

G. Kishan Reddy: From ordinary worker to Union minister

G. Kishan Reddy, who was sworn in as Union minister on Thursday, is one of the prominent faces of the BJP in Telangana.

A three-time MLA, Kishan Reddy is a first-term MP from Secunderabad, one of the Lok Sabha constituencies in Telangana state capital Hyderabad.

Having started his political career as an ordinary party worker, he has come up through sheer hard work and determination.

Born in 1960 in a farmer's home in Ranga Reddy district in Telangana, Kishan Reddy earned a diploma in tool designs from the Central Institute of Tool Designs in Hyderabad.

Inspired by Jayaprakash Narayan, he started his political career as a youth worker in the Janata Party. When the BJP was formed, he joined the party as an ordinary worker but soon graduated to handling key responsibilities in the organisation.

The 58-year-old Kishan Reddy served as president of the All India Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha, the youth wing of the party.

He was also President of BJP's state unit in undivided Andhra Pradesh for two terms from 2010 to 2014. After bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh in 2014, he became president of the Telangana unit of the party and held the post till 2016.

He was first elected to Andhra Pradesh Assembly in 2004 from Himayatnagar constituency in Hyderabad. After the delimitation of constituencies in 2009, he contested from Amberpet and went on to win two terms as MLA from the constituency.

He also served as floor leader of the party in both the state Assemblies. He lost the Amberpet Assembly constituency in the elections held in December last year but was picked up as party candidate for Lok Sabha elections from Secunderabad.

As Amberpet is one of the Assembly segments under Secunderabad, Kishan Reddy was not new to the constituency and with good support among urban electorate, he has entered the Lok Sabha.

Som Parkash: Dalit ex-bureaucrat in Modi cabinet

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.

Kiren Rijiju: Most prominent BJP face in northeast

Kiren Rijiju has been the face of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the northeastern states.

Rijiju on Thursday took oath as a Union Minister in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's new ministry.

The Lok Sabha member from Arunachal West constituency was bound to get a cabinet berth not only because of his political manoeuvre that helped the BJP to make inroads into the state which was ruled by the Congress since its incepetion but also because of his splendid oratory skills that earned him a name in the national politics.

Kiren Rijiju
Kiren Rijiju Image Credit: Supplied

Born to the political family of Rinchin Kharu and Chirai Rijiju, Kiren Rijiju had been socially active since his childhood and he participated in the Festival of India in USSR in 1987 when he was only 16 years old.

Born on November 19, 1971 in West Kameng district of Arunachal Pradesh, Rijiju studied in the famous Hansraj College of Delhi and also obtained a Law degree from the University of Delhi. He is married to Joram Rina, a graduate from Lady Shri Ram College in Delhi.

Kiren Rijiju first contested the 2004 Lok Sabha election from Arunachal West constituency and won.

Although he lost the 2009 Lok Sabha elections by a small margin of 1,314 votes, Kiren Rijiju again won the seat in 2014 after which he was accommodated as the Minister of state for Home in the cabinet of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

In the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, Kiren Rijiju defeated former Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Nabam Tuki by a margin of 1,74,843 votes. While he got 63.02 per cent votes, Tuki could get only 14.22 per cent of votes.

Known as one of the most outspoken parliamentarians, Kiren Rijiju is also a fitness freak and has widely travelled.

His video of cycling with Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu and Bollywood actor Salman Khan during the inaugural ceremony of Mechuka adventure festival in Arunachal Pradesh in November last year went viral on social media.

Rajnath Singh: RSS activist turned Home Minister

A former RSS activist who was the Home Minister in Narendra Modi's first stint as Prime Minister, Rajnath Singh is popular in the BJP ranks and headed the party before Amit Shah took charge.

An amiable politician who has friends in almost all political parties, it was when he headed the Home Ministry that the government launched a major crackdown on the Maoists and other insurgents.

He gave a free hand to the National Investigation Agency (NIA) to take into custody several key separatist leaders in Jammu and Kashmir.

Lok Sabha 190107
Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh speaks in the Lok Sabha during the Parliament Winter Session, in New Delhi, Tuesday, Jan 8, 2019. Image Credit: PTI

Born on July 10, 1951 into a farmer's family in then Varanasi's Babhora village, Rajnath Singh joined the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) in 1964 at age 13. He was with the RSS even when he was a lecturer in the K.B. Post Graduate College at Mirzapur, Uttar Pradesh.

Singh started his political career as Organisational Secretary of Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad's (ABVP) Gorakhpur division, holding the post from 1969 to 1971.

In 1972, he became the RSS General Secretary of Mirzapur and then entered active politics in 1974. He became the District President of Jana Sangh and a key figure in the JP Movement that shook then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.

He was elected as an MLA in Uttar Pradesh in 1977. He became a member of the Rajya Sabha in 1994 and the Chief Whip of the party in the Upper House.

On November 22, 1999, he was inducted into the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government as the Union Surface Transport Minister.

During this period he initiated the NHDP (National Highway Development Programme), a dream project of Vajpayee.

Rajnath Singh became the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister from 2000 and after two years served as the Agriculture Minister in Vajpayee's Cabinet between 2003 and 2004.

He was the President of the BJP before Amit Shah took charge in 2014.

In the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, Singh retained the Lucknow seat by defeating his nearest rival Poonam Sinha of the Samajwadi Party.

Pralhad Joshi: Four-term BJP MP from Dharwad

Pralhad Joshi won the Dharwad Lok Sabha constituency in northwest Karnataka for the fourth time in a row in the just-concluded general elections.

A member of the RSS, Joshi was the BJP's Karnataka unit President from 2014 to 2017.

He shot to limelight in 1992, when he led a unique movement to hoist the national flag at the Idgah Maidan in Hubli.

In the 16th Lok Sabha, the veteran parliamentarian was part of the pool of MPs who chaired the house proceedings in the absence of the Speaker and Deputy Speaker.

Shripad Naik: Emerging out of Parrikar's shadow

Retaining his ministerial spot in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's second government, five-term North Goa MP Shripad Naik now has an opportunity to finally create his own political brand.

The 66-year-old Shripad Naik, one of the two most prominent faces of the BJP in Goa, had for years now, been overshadowed by the dynamic and enterprising presence of Manohar Parrikar, a four-term Chief Minister who died of cancer in March this year.

Shripad Naik
BJP candidate from North Goa constituency Shripad Naik celebrates his victory in the 2019 Lok Sabha results, in Panaji. Image Credit: PTI

Both were described by their peers as 'Ram and Laxman' of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) which was finding its feet in the coastal state.

Naik's journey spans from being a soft-spoken Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) volunteer, state-level kabaddi player and sarpanch of the Durbhat village panchayat in the mid-1980s to his third stint as a Central Minister in 2019.

According to his long-time associate, friend and BJP office bearer Govind Parvatkar, Shripad Naik's "patience" has held him in good stead in his political journey.

"He is immensely patient. That is his biggest quality. He has the ability to listen to people and grasp the subject," Parvatkar told IANS.

After his two-term stint as sarpanch, Naik was elected to the Goa Assembly from Marcaim in 1994. In 1999, he was elected to the 13th Lok Sabha and was later inducted into then Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee's ministry in 2000, where he served as Minister of State for Agriculture, Shipping, Civil Aviation, Road Transport and Highways and Finance.

Since then he has been undefeated in the Lok Sabha elections. In Modi's first government, he was Minister of State for Tourism and Minister with independent charge of the newly formed AYUSH Ministry, which anchored Modi's Yoga outreach across India and the world.

He was elected to the Lok Sabha from North Goa by defeating his nearest Congress rival Girish Chodankar by 80,247 votes.

Naik also overcame resistance from a section of the BJP, notably by late Parrikar's nephew Akhil, who had accused him of being cut off from party workers.

In Delhi, Naik's official bungalow at Lodhi estate has been a transition-home for several Goans relocating from the coastal state to the national capital on work chores.

"He is extremely welcoming and does not treat people differently, irrespective of their backgrounds. His approach is extremely humble and sincere," Parvatkar said.

V. Muraleedharan: He quit government job

Although the BJP holds only one seat in the Assembly and has no Lok Sabha member from Kerala, Rajya Sabha member V. Muraleedharan is credited with building the BJP steadily in a state for long divided between the Congress-led UDF and Left.

The 60-year-old, who on Thursday became the only Minister from Kerala to take oath as a member of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's ministry, entered full-time politics after quitting a government job.

Starting off as an activist of the ABVP in 1983, Muraleedharan was rewarded for his organizational skills when he was made the Vice Chairman of the Nehru Yuva Kendra from 1999 to 2002 and for another two years, he became its Director General.

In 2006, he was appointed the Vice President of the Kerala unit of the BJP and in 2010 he was elevated as its president, a post he held till 2016.

He came second in the Kazhakootam Assembly constituency in 2016, pushing the sitting Congress legislator to the third position.

In March 2018, Muraleedharan became the first BJP leader from Kerala to be nominated to the Rajya Sabha from Maharashtra.

Muraleedharan, who hails from Tellicherry in Kannur district, belongs to the Hindu Ezhava community. Kannur has seen maximum violence involving the RSS and the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) as the former began expanding its base.

His wife, K.S. Jayasree, is a college professor.

Parshottam Rupala: Gujarat BJP's rustic leader

When Prime Minister Narendra Modi inducted Gujarat politician Parshottam Rupala as the Union Minister of State for Panchayati Raj in 2016 and later included Agriculture and Farmer Welfare in his profile in 2017, it did not surprise anyone.

Born into a family of farmers on October 1, 1954, in Ishvariya village in Amreli district in Saurashtra region, Rupala comes off as a typically rustic grassroots politician.

Before plunging into active politics, the tall and aggressive Rupala was principal of a government school in Saurashtra region's Amreli district from 1977 to 1983. Subsequently, from 1983 to 1987 he served as the Chief Officer of the Amreli Municipality.

Rupala married Savitaben in 1979 and has a son and a daughter.

His first political post as the Bharatiya Janata Party's Amreli district president came in 1988 and in 1991, he was made the secretary of the Gujarat unit of the party. Then there was no looking back.

Rupala was elected as an MLA from Amreli for the first time in 1991 and won for two consecutive elections thereafter till 2002. In view of his background, he was made a cabinet minister for Narmada, Irrigation and Water Resources and later for Agriculture.

He was elected to the Rajya Sabha in 2016 and subsequently inducted in the Union Council of Ministers.

A Patidar from the Kadva Patidar sub-sect, Rupala also worked hard on behalf of his party to take on Hardik Patel, the young firebrand leader from his community, though could not do much to stop him.

Ramdas B. Athawale: Dalit face of Modi government

Rajya Sabha member Ramdas B. Athawale on Thursday took oath as a Union Minister in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's new government.

He was elected to the Upper House in 2014 and became a Minister of State in the first Prime Minister Narendra Modi government in 2016.

Athawale was involved in the Dalit politics from an early age, while simultaneously being active in Marathi theatre. He played the lead role in a Marathi film "Anyayacha Pratikar".

After the crash of the Dalit Panther movement in 1974, the class 12 pass Athawale joined the Republican Party of India (RPI) faction among the dozen splinter groups, which later allied with the Congress.

Hoping to cash in on his backward image, he was made a Member of the Legilative Council (MLC) in Maharashtra and became a minister in the state governments under Chief Minister Sharad Pawar and later CM Sudhakarrao Naik.

Later, he was elected thrice to the Lok Sabha from Mumbai in 1998, 1999 and 2004, but lost the 2009 elections from Shirdi seat and split from the Congress-Nationalist Congress Party alliance.

Athawale, 59, joined hands with the Bharatiya Janata Party-Shiv Sena combine, contested the Brihan Mumbai Municipal Corporation elections, and later the Assembly and parliament elections.

As the RPI chief, he has been regularly wooed by all political parties lured by the support he reportedly commands among various Dalit factions, keeping him perpetually in the national and state political limelight.

When he launched the RPI's Children's Wing in 2017, he nominated his 12-year son as its chief.