Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, a BJP MP from Rajasthan's Jodhpur constituency took charge as the Union Cabinet Minister of Jal Shakti on Friday. He held the former Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare in the 2014 Modi government.
Considered close to the top leadership of the party and backed by RSS, Shekhawat — who was made the Union Minister of State for Agriculture in September 2017 — entered student politics and became the president of the student union of Jai Narayan Vyas University, Jodhpur in 1992 and remained active in social work and youth awareness activities.
Shekhawat defeated Vaibhav Gehlot, son of Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot, in his maiden election from the Jodhpur Lok Sabha seat winning the seat by a margin of 2,74,440 votes. Earlier in 2014, he was elected to the 16th Lok Sabha in 2014, with the highest ever winning margin (4,10,051 votes) from Jodhpur.
Shekhawat. who hs an MA and MPhil in Philosophy and was educated at Jodhpur's JNV University, is also National General Secretary of the BJP Kisan Morcha — the farmer's wing of the Bharatiya Janta Party.
He began his political career in student politics when in 1992 he was elected as president of the Student Union at JNVU University, gaining more votes than any other previous Akhil Bhartiya Vidhyarthi Parishad supporter.
Before entering electoral politics, Shekhawat held positions in various forums and organisations and was the co-convener of the Swadeshi Jagran Manch, the economic wing of the Sangh Parivar and the general secretary of Seema Jan Kalyan Samiti — an organisation dedicated to strengthening national security by developing border towns and villages.
As the general secretary, he was instrumental in building a second line of defence that consisted of civilians residing near the border area of Rajasthan. He was also reportedly instrumental in furthering the impact of civil defence by setting up 40 schools and four hostels along the Indo-Pak border.
One of his major achievements during his tenure as an MP has been the expansion of the Jodhpur Airport.
Known for being social media savvy, Shekhawat is the most followed Indian politician on Quora. "My answers have been viewed a record 4.6 million times in 2017 alone which is equal to the total number of views that former US President Barack Obama received,” Shekhawat was quoted as saying.
As an MP, Shekhawat has also received mention as one of the top five contributors to Parliamentary debates. He is also Chairperson of the Fellowship Committee, member of the All India Council of Sports (AICS) and member of the Standing Committee on Finance.
Updated Date: May 31, 2019 22:39:26 IST