Rajya Sabha MP Mansukh Mandaviya took oath as the Union health minister in a Cabinet reshuffle on Wednesday, taking the reins from Harsh Vardhan.
He has also been given charge of the Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers in the first Cabinet rejig since the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led Central government came to power for a second time in 2019.
Other than Vardhan, Ravi Shankar Prasad and Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank also resigned from the Cabinet and were not given other ministerial berths.
Here are some facts about Mansukh Mandaviya:
- Mandaviya was born in Hanol village in the Palitana taluka of Saurashtra’s region Bhavnagar district on 1 July, 1972.
- He studied veterinary science at the Gujarat Agricultural University’s Dantiwada campus and later did his masters in political science.
- He organised his first padyatra as a legislator in 2005 when he walked 123 kilometres through 45 educationally backward villages in Palitana to advocate girls’ education. His second yatra was in 2007, under the theme ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao’ and ‘Vyasan Hatao’ wherein he covered 127 km across 52 villages. In 2019, he undertook a week-long 150 kilometre Padyatra covering 150 villages to propagate the ideology and values of Mahatma Gandhi. The 150-km route of the yatra covered 150 villages.
- He has been an active member of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad, the student wing of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), since 1992.
- The two-time MP holds the record of being one of the youngest MLAs in Gujarat. He won the Assembly elections in 2002 from Palitana at the age of 28.
- He was elected to the Rajya Sabha in 2012 and re-elected in 2018. He became the chairman of Gujarat Agro Industries Corporation in 2011 when Modi was the chief minister.
- He was a general secretary of BJP Gujarat in 2015.
- He was first inducted in the Union cabinet as Minister of State for Road Transport and Highways, Shipping and Chemicals and Fertilizers on 5 July, 2016.
- 49-year-old Mandaviya was the minister of state for ports, shipping and waterways and minister of state for chemical and fertilisers since May 2019.
- He was honoured by UNICEF for his contribution to the cause of women's menstrual hygiene by using the chain of Jan Aushadhi Kendras to sell 10 crore sanitary pads made with oxo-biodegradable technology at a nominal price.
With inputs from PTI