Modi govt 3.0: Hardeep Singh Puri, Bhupender Yadav, Jitendra Singh set to be retained as Union ministers

webnexttech | Modi govt 3.0: Hardeep Singh Puri, Bhupender Yadav, Jitendra Singh set to be retained as Union ministers

Among the Union ministers from the previous government set to take oath on Sunday are Hardeep Singh Puri, Jitendra Singh, and Bhupender Yadav. Puri, a diplomat-turned-politician, has served in the Council of Ministers since September 2017 and in the Cabinet since July 2021. According to sources, Puri, who held the Housing and Urban Affairs and Petroleum and Natural Gas portfolios in the previous stint, got a call from the Prime Minister’s Office earlier on Sunday, informing him that he would be a part of the government. Puri, and other MPs of the BJP and its allies who are likely to be sworn in on Sunday evening, attended a meeting at the Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s residence on Sunday morning. Born in a family of Partition refugees in Delhi in 1952, Puri joined the Indian Foreign Service (IFS) in 1974 and served as an envoy to the UN, Brazil, Japan, and UK among others. After retirement, he joined the BJP in 2013. Puri was associated with the RSS’ student wing Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) while studying at Delhi University’s Hindu College. Over the past few years, Puri has helmed the Housing and Urban Affairs Ministry while it proposed and executed the construction of the new Parliament building. In his role as Petroleum Minister, he has defended India’s choice to import Russian oil while the West placed sanctions on it after Russia invaded Ukraine in 2022. Puri is in his second term as a Rajya Sabha MP from Uttar Pradesh. In 2019, he unsuccessfully contested the Amritsar Lok Sabha seat for the BJP. Bhupender Yadav, one of the BJP’s key strategists who played a significant role in delivering poll victories in Odisha’s state Assembly as well as Lok Sabha elections, is also set to be re-inducted into the Cabinet. Yadav, 54, held key portfolios of Environment, Forest and Climate Change as well as Labour and Employment in the outgoing Cabinet. Yadav made his electoral debut during the 2024 general elections and won from the Alwar Lok Sabha seat in Rajasthan. Prior to this, he was a member of Rajya Sabha and a long record of legislative experience by being part of several parliamentary committees. He was inducted into the Union Cabinet in July 2021 and has also played key roles in the BJP’s election management for states such as Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Gujarat and Jharkhand. A lawyer by profession, Yadav hails from Rajasthan and has authored two books, one on the party and another on Supreme Court and forest conservation. Yadav defeated Congress’s Lalit Yadav by a margin of 48,282 votes. Dr Jitendra Singh was Minister of State (Independent Charge) for the Ministry of Science and Technology, MoS for the Prime Minister’s Office, MoS for Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions, and MoS for Atomic Energy and Department of Space. A physician by training, he got the reputation of being a giant-killer when he defeated former J&K chief minister Ghulam Nabi Azad by a margin of over 60,000 votes in his maiden electoral battle in the Udhampur parliamentary constituency in 2014. He has been a strong opponent of the now abrogated Article 370 of the Constitution, which guaranteed special status to the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir. This year, he defeated nearest rival Lal Singh of the Congress by a margin of 1.22 lakh votes, and created history by emerging victorious from Udhampur for a third time after two full terms. The 67-year-old is also a member of BJP’s national executive. Before joining politics, Singh had also been a newspaper columnist, writing for local newspapers in J&K.

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