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Nitin Gadkari To Stay Transport Minister In Modi 3.0


Nitin Gadkari is back as Transport Minister in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s cabinet as portfolios were announced on Monday evening, 24 hours after the coalition government was sworn-in with 71 ministers.

Mr Gadkari, 67, has got two deputies – Ajay Tamta, BJP MP from Almora, and Harsh Malhotra, a first-time BJP MP from East Delhi constituency.

PM Modi has called his council of ministers “a great blend of youth and experience”.

BJP sources had earlier told NDTV that they are not keen on handing over the road transport portfolio to allies. Reason: the momentum in road expansion.

Mr Gadkari’s time in office saw the average pace of national highway construction increase by 143 per cent, according to government data. He is also credited with launching the Bharat New Car Assessment Programme for safety rating of passenger cars.

The veteran leader scored a hat-trick by winning the Nagpur Lok Sabha seat with a margin of 1.37 lakh votes.

Mr Gadkari entered politics as a student leader of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarathi Parishad (ABVP) and later joined the Janata Yuva Morcha, the youth wing of the BJP.

The BJP leader was a PWD minister in Maharashtra between 1995 and 1999 when he gained his first experience undertaking infrastructure projects.

He has been a member of the Maharashtra Legislative Council since 1989. He was also the leader of the opposition in the Maharashtra Legislative Council from 1999-2005. He headed the Maharashtra Pradesh BJP till 2009 as the State president when he was elevated to the post of BJP National President to become the youngest-ever party president.

The year 2009 was a tough phase for the BJP as the party had lost two successive Lok Sabha elections and needed a quick revamp.

No date has been set for the opening of parliament, but media reports say the new session is expected to begin next week, when the speaker will be elected.

(With agency inputs)

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