Monday, June 24, 2024

Dharmendra Pradhan Sets Record as Longest Serving Odia Union Minister – N.F Times


Bhubaneswar: Dharmendra Pradhan has set a new record as a Union minister in the central government. After being sworn in as a minister for the third time in a row, he is considered to be the first Odia minister in the central government. Previously, leaders from Odisha who were ministers in the centre never served three consecutive terms like Dharmendra.

Dharmendra Pradhan and Sundergarh MP Juel Oram have both been sworn in as ministers at the centre. This marks the third time Oram has taken the oath as a union minister, though his terms have not been consecutive. He was a part of Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s cabinet in 1999 and later joined Narendra Modi’s first cabinet in 2014.

Pradhan, on the other hand, has served as a minister in Modi’s government for two terms since 2014 and has now been sworn in for a third term. This achievement is unparalleled among Odia leaders. Pradhan also holds the distinction of being the first Odia to head the Ministry of Petroleum, Natural Gas, and Education.

Pradhan was initially elected from the Debagad Lok Sabha seat in 2004. He later represented Bihar and Madhya Pradesh in the Rajya Sabha, becoming the first Odia to do so. However, this time he returned to contest direct elections and won the Lok Sabha seat from Sambalpur, securing his position as a union minister in the cabinet.

During his student days, Pradhan began his political journey with the ABVP. He served as the student president of Talcher College and led the ABVP in the state. His political career took off when he was elected as an MLA in 2000 and later as an MP in 2004.

After becoming a Lok Sabha MP, Pradhan made a name for himself in national politics. He ascended to the position of BJP’s National President and later National General President. He also led the BJP Youth Morcha as its National President. The BJP entrusted him with the responsibility of many states as the state party in charge. His reputation paved the way for his inclusion in the Modi government from the beginning.

In 2014, Pradhan assumed the role of Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas, followed by the Minister of Steel. He was later assigned to the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship. In 2021, he took over as the Minister of Education. His third oath-taking has set a record as the longest-serving Odia Union Minister in consecutive terms.


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