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Giriraj Singh, Kiren Rijiju, Gajendra Singh Shekhawat Among Those Promoted by Modi

Giriraj Singh, who supported Modi since the days he was the CM of Gujarat, has courted controversies with his utterances verged on Hindutva hardline.

New Delhi: Staunch Narendra Modi loyalist Giriraj Singh and former chief ministers of Uttarakhand and Jharkhand Ramesh Chandra Pokhriyal and Arjun Munda respectively were among the BJP leaders elevated to the Cabinet in the new NDA government on Thursday.

Kiren Rijiju, the face of the BJP in the Northeast and a two-time MP from Arunachal West Lok Sabha seat, has also been promoted from minister of state to minister of state with independent charge in the new government.

Giriraj Singh, who supported Modi since the days he was the chief minister of Gujarat, has courted controversies with his utterances verged on Hindutva hardline as he repeatedly raised the issue of rising Muslim population in the country and underscored that a decline in the proportion of Hindus in a region invariably led to social strife.

At times he also went against the government line of awaiting the Supreme Court verdict on Ayodhya saying “Hindus were running out of patience”.

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Singh won the Begusarai seat in Bihar defeating CPI’s Kanhaiya Kumar.

Considered to be close to the BJP top brass, Gajendra Singh Shekhawat has got a cabinet rank from his previous MoS with independent charge status.

Shekhawat, who was made the Union minister of state for agriculture in September 2017, defeated the son of Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot from the Jodhpur Lok Sabha seat.

Other promotees include Mahendra Nath Pandey, the Uttar Pradesh BJP chief and former minister of state in the first Modi government.

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BJP ally Shiv Sena’s Arvind Ganpat Sawant, a second time MP from Mumbai South, and former foreign secretary Subrahmanyam Jaishankar have also been included in the Modi Cabinet.

Former railway minister DV Sadananda Gowda, who was dropped in a reshuffle earlier, has also found a place in the new Cabinet.

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