Ujjain: With the induction of Rajya Sabha member Thawar Chand Gehlot as a Cabinet minister on Monday, the BJP government at the Centre has kept the precedence of giving representation to Ujjain. Though, newly-elected MP Prof Chintamani Malviya or Union former minister and Rajya Sabha member Dr Satya Narayan Jatiya could also be made the minister if representation of Ujjain was the sole criteria, Prime Minister Narendra Modi preferred 66-year-old Gehlot owing to certain key roles which he played during last one year in the politics of BJP.
After going through the list of 45 ministers of Modi’s council of ministers, it is sure that Gehlot was tipped for the coveted office under the caste equations. He belongs to the Schedule Caste category and considered to be a prominent SC leader of the BJP. He had also represented Shajapur parliamentary constituency twice, but lost it in 2009 elections. Presently, he is the national general secretary of the BJP and one of 11 members of the Central Parliamentary Board.
When Nitin Gadkari resigned from the post of BJP president, Gehlot was made election officer for the president’s election which saw Rajnath Singh as the new incumbent. Recently, when Modi resigned from the post of Gujarat chief minister, Gehlot was sent there as a central observer to elect the new chief minister. Gehlot belongs to Balai community and hails from village Rupeta in Nagda tehsil of Ujjain district.
He was elected as an MLA from Alote in 1980 and also became minister of state in the Patwa government during 1990-92. Now, Alote constituency is represented by his son Jitendra Gehlot. To give representation to SC community and Ujjain, Modi got a choice of three MPs Gehlot, Jatiya and Malviya, but he preferred Gehlot. It is learnt that Shivraj Singh Chauhan also backed Gehlot for the cabinet berth.
When AB Vajpayee government was in power at Delhi, Jatiya represented Ujjain and he was given portfolios of labour and then social justice and empowerment and poverty elevation. Till filing of this report, inputs received from Delhi suggested that Gehlot may be given the portfolio of social justice and empowerment.