Thirty-six new ministers joined the government and four high-profile ministers--Dr. Harsh Vardhan, Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank, Ravi Shankar Prasad and Prakash Javadekar--quit on Wednesday in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's mega Cabinet reboot.
PM Modi now has 77 ministers, nearly half of them are new. Anurag Thakur, Kiren Rijiju, Hardeep Puri are among 15 new Cabinet ministers, while there are 28 Ministers of State.
Meanwhile, PM Modi's new team has 16 first-time MPs from both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha. And one among them is Shantanu Thakur.
Shantanu Thakur is a Lok Sabha MP for Bongaon in West Bengal. The 38-year-old is serving his 1st term as MP. He has been appointed as the Minister of State in the Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways.
He is a leader of the Matua community. And has been brought to the Centre by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) with an eye on the Matua vote. The Matua vote in West Bengal has always proven to be the biggest determining factor in the elections in the state.
In the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, Thakur became the first non-Trinamool Congress MP to be elected in the Bongaon constituency since its delimitation.
Shantanu is the son of former Bengal Minister Manjul Krishna Thakur and grandson of Binapani Devi aka Boro Maa, who is the matriarch of the Matua Mahasangha, a Hindu religious reformation movement.
He holds a BA in English from Karnataka State Open University and Diploma in Hospitality Management.