Putting all speculations to rest, the Narendra Modi- led BJP government at the Centre on Wednesday announced a major Cabinet reshuffle. The party came up with a list of 43 leaders who have been given ministerial berths.
The list features two new faces from Odisha- Rajya Sabha MP Ashwini Vaishnav and Mayurbhanj (Lok Sabha) MP Bishweswar Tudu- who have made it to the Modi cabinet 2.0.
While Vaishnav has taken oath as a cabinet minister, Tudu will be having MoS status. The ministries will be announced later.
Here is a sneak peek into the political journey of these two new Ministers from Odisha.
Ashwini Vaishnaw is a Rajya Sabha MP for Odisha. A former Odisha cadre IAS Officer of the 1994 batch, he joined the BJP in 2019 after being named as party’s nominee for Rajya Sabha. He was elected unopposed to the upper house with ruling BJD backing his candidature.
Vaishnaw was appointed as member of Committee on Subordinate Legislation and Petitions and Committee on Science and Technology, Environment and Forests.
Vaishnav severed as collectors of Balasore and Cuttack districts before proceeding on Central deputation. He served as the deputy secretary (PMO) when the late Atal Bihari Vajpayee was the Prime Minister and was part of several important decisions. Even when Vajpayee lost the 2004 polls, Vaishnav worked as his personal secretary.
Ashwini was born in Jodhpur in 1970. He graduated from Jai Narayan Vyas University, Rajasthan in 1992 with a gold medal in Electronic and Communications engineering course and then completed his M.Tech from IIT Kanpur, before cracking IAS in 1994 with an all-India rank of 27. In 2008, Vaishnaw left for the US to pursue his MBA from Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
Bisweshwar Tudu was elected to the Lok Sabha from Mayurbhanj district in the 2019 general election as a nominee of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
He has been associated with the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and welfare of the tribals for the last 19 years.
Prior to his foray into politics, he worked as a senior engineer in Water Resources Department in Odisha. He holds a Diploma in Electrical Engineering from Utkalmani Gopabandhu Institute of Engineering, Rourkela.
It is believed that the inclusion of Tudu is part of Modi's efforts to reaffirm faith of the tribal communities of Jharkhand and north Odisha on BJP.