Anupriya Singh Patel, 40, is one of the youngest woman ministers who took oath as the minister in the Central Cabinet expansion on Wednesday. The BJP ally Apna Dal (Sonelal) president was given the charge as Minister of State in the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.
She had been jockeying for a separate ministry to solve problems faced by other backward classes, however she is back in the Union council of ministers after a two-year gap.
She is an Indian politician from the state of Uttar Pradesh. She represents Mirzapur in Lok Sabha since 2014. She was the Minister of State in the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India, from 2016 to 2019.
She was previously elected as a Member of the Legislative Assembly for the Rohaniya constituency of the Legislature of Uttar Pradesh in Varanasi, where she had fought a campaign in alliance with the Peace Party of India and Bundelkhand Congress in the 2012 Uttar Pradesh legislative assembly election.
Her inclusion in the Modi's team is significant ahead of the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections next year and the Lok Sabha polls in 2024 as the Other Backward Classes (OBC) have a sizeable number of voters in the key Purvanchal region.
"We have demanded the formation of a ministry for OBCs on the lines of the Ministry of Minorities to solve the problems of the backward classes," she had said at a meeting of party workers on the 72nd birth anniversary of Apna Dal founder Sonelal Patel earlier this month.
A champion of the cause of the backwards and deprived sections, she has been saying that though they are getting their share in the administration, still the gap of inequality is huge.
"We have to struggle a lot to bridge it," she says, while making a demand for the setting up of a national memorial to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel in Delhi.
Her party has been continuously raising its voice in Parliament for resolving the problems of farmers and proper implementation of the Swaminathan Commission recommendations so that they could get a fair price for their produce.
The buzz that she could be accommodated in the Union ministry grew louder after she recently met the BJP brass in New Delhi after staying away from the corridors of power ever since the NDA embarked on its second term in 2019.
Anupriya was a minister of state at the Centre from 2016 to 2019.
This is her second stint in the Union council of ministers.