31 May 2019
Bhubaneswar: Dharmendra Pradhan and Pratap Chandra Sarangi from Odisha, who took oath as Union Ministers on Thursday, have bagged two important portfolios in Narendra Modi’s new team.
Union Minister of State and Balasore MP Pratap Chandra Sarangi has been entrusted with Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises & Ministry of Animal Husbandry, Dairy and Fisheries. Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan has retained portfolio of Petroleum & Natural Gas and has been given additional charge of Steel Ministry.
Meanwhile, Amit Shah has been given Home Ministry, Nirmala Sitaraman got Finance and Rajnath Singh is the new Defence Minister.
Sarangi, a two-time independent MLA from Nilgiri in Odisha, contested as the BJP's candidate from Balasore and turned out to be the giant killer in the elections as he was contesting against two of the richest candidates in the elections.
Sarangi defeated sitting BJD's MP Rabindra Kumar Jena, an industrialist and Congress candidate Nabajyoti Patnaik, son of Odisha Congress chief Niranjan Patnaik.
A close confidant of BJP President Amit Shah, Dharmendra 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, Dharmendra became the Petroleum Minister with independent charge. Later, he was promoted to cabinet rank and given the additional portfolio of Skill Development in 2017.
As the Union Petroleum Minister, Dharmendra 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.