Kiren Rijiju has been appointed as India’s new Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports. He replaces 2004 Athens Olympic medalist Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore. Rijiju has also been made the Minister of State in the Ministry of Minority Affairs.
Rijiju has a sporting background, having participated in the National Games during his college days. He was named the best athlete in his school and college, according to a 2009 report in Eastern Panorama.
A lawyer by profession and BJP’s face in the North East, Rijiju served as the Minister of State for Home Affairs in the first Narendra Modi government. He was re-elected from the Arunachal West Lok Sabha constituency in the recently-concluded Lok Sabha election defeating Congress candidate and two-time former Chief Minister Nabam Tuki.
He has served as a member of the Khadi and Village Industries Commission from 2000 to 2005 and was adjudged the best young parliamentarian by the media during 14th Lok Sabha elections at the age of 29.
Rijiju's father Rinchin Kharu was a prominent social worker and was the first pro-term speaker of Arunachal Pradesh.
In 2015, the UN designated him as the Disaster Risk Champion for the Asia-Pacific Region for his work in the area. With this, he became the first Indian to be conferred with this honour. From 2001 to 2004, he was a member of several national and international organisations and was also selected as one of the Asian youth leaders by the Asia Society Youth Conference in Tokyo in 2008.
Rijiju is an arts graduate and got his law degree from Delhi’s Hansraj College. He has emerged as a pan-northeast India leader and was in charge of Nagaland in 2018, when the BJP and a regional ally formed the government there.
Hailing from a remote village in West Kameng district of Arunachal Pradesh, he was first elected as a member of the 14th Lok Sabha in 2004, representing Arunachal West constituency in Parliament. In the 2009 Lok Sabha election, he was defeated by a very thin margin of 1,314 votes by the Congress candidate. In 2014 Lok Sabha elections, he was re-elected from the same constituency after defeating Congress's Takam Sanjoy by a margin of 43,738 votes.
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Updated Date: May 31, 2019 21:43:36 IST