Ravi Shankar Prasad: The new telecom minister may find his hands full

After becoming part of the Narendra Modi government as as Union cabinet minister, bigger responsibilities await for BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad. Prasad will take charge of the ministries of telecommunication and law, the first being the key one, given its scam-hit image.

He has been a BJP loyalist right from the beginning of his political career, a member of the BJP National Executive since 1995 and a national spokesperson in 2006. In 2007, he was appointed as the chief national spokesperson of the BJP and later was named the party's general secretary in 2010. It is currently his third term in the Rajya Sabha and has been a consecutive member since 2008.

BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad. PTI

BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad. PTI

Coming from an influential family, Prasad was born to Thakur Prasad, a senior advocate in Patna High court and one of the founding members of the Jan Sangh, which is now the BJP. His inclination to the RSS and the BJP began at a very young age due to his father's association with theses groups. He earned his Honours and Master of Arts (Political Science) degree and LLB degree from Patna University. He is married to Maya Shankar who is a professor of history at Patna University and has a son and a daughter.

Starting his political career at a very early age, Prasad organised protests against the Indira Gandhi government and was even jailed when the Emergency was clamped. He worked under the leadership of Jaya Prakash Narayan and was an active volunteer of Akhila Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad.

In 2000, he became an MP and was the Minister of State (Coal and Mines) in 2001 under Prime Minister Vajpayee. He is responsible for accelerating the coal and mining reforms. As Ministry of Law and Justice (State) he prepared a bill to amend the Representation of People Act with in a fortnight in 2002. The credit of speeding up the process of fast-track courts has to be given to him.

When he was the minister of information and broadcasting, he introduced reforms in the radio, television and animation which improved the quality and functioning of these sectors.

On the legal front, Prasad began his legal practise at Patna High Court in 1980 and was eventually climbed up the ladder to be Senior Advocate in 1999. The very next year he was promoted as the Senior Advocate at the Supreme Court.

According to Business Standard, he has fought cases and PILs against former Bihar chief minister and railway minister Laloo Prasad Yadav in the Fodder scam and Bitumen scam. He has represented the Hindu groups in longstanding Ayodhya title suit before the Allahabad High Court

This year, he is appeared on behalf of Subroto Roy in the latter's contempt case in which the latter is due to pay Rs 20,000 crore to his investors.

He identified Goa as the location for hosting the International Film Festival of India. On an international scale, he has led the Indian delegation to film festivals in Cannes, Venice and London.


Updated Date: May 26, 2014 20:27 PM

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