Modi 2.0 Cabinet: Dharmendra Pradhan, architect of BJP's Odisha success
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Modi 2.0 Cabinet: Dharmendra Pradhan, architect of BJP's Odisha success

By Business-standard calender  31-May-2019

Modi 2.0 Cabinet: Dharmendra Pradhan, architect of BJP's Odisha success

Dharmendra Pradhan was administered the oath of office by President Ram Nath Kovind at the swearing-in ceremony of the new government on Thursday. Dharmendra Pradhan was the Minister of Petroleum & Natural Gas and Skill Development & Entrepreneurship in the first Modi government. He was elected to the Rajya Sabha in March 2018 from Madhya Pradesh. Pradhan was a member of Lok Sabha from 2004-2009 and represented the Deogarh constituency of Odisha. He was also Member of the Odisha Legislative Assembly (2000 - 2004) elected from Pallalhara constituency. Pradhan was a surprise candidate for the Petroleum Ministry in 2014 but later came to be known as an effective administrator. Key highlights include the Ujjwala scheme, policy decisions like natural gas pricing, new round of oil and gas auctions and increased cooking gas penetration from 56 per cent to 95 per cent. Pradhan was an active member of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) and entered national politics in 2004. His father, Debendra Pradhan, was a minister in Vajpayee government and a MP from Deogarh constituency who left his seat in 2004 to pave the way for his son. Dharmendra Pradhan won the Lok Sabha elections of 2004 from the constituency. In 2012, he was elected as the member of Rajya Sabha from Bihar. He was also the general secretary of the party in 2011, and also looked after the activities of the party in Jharkhand. He was also the organiser of party activities in Karnataka, Uttarakhand and Odisha. Though his stint in national politics is relatively short, Pradhan has carved a crucial identity for himself. Being a close confidant of party President Amit Shah helps but he was also one of the chief architects for the victory of BJP in Bihar in General Election 2014 and a good show in Odisha in 2019.


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