Mansukh Mandaviya takes charge as labour minister

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Union Minister Mansukh Mandaviya takes charge as Minister of Labour and Employment, in New Delhi.

Union Minister Mansukh Mandaviya takes charge as Minister of Labour and Employment, in New Delhi.

New Delhi: Mansukh Mandaviya, who served as the union health minister at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2021, took charge of the labour ministry on Tuesday.

After assuming the charge, Mandaviya met top brass of the ministry.

However, he did not offer any comments about challenges or his plan of action in the ministry. Mandaviya has been inducted into the Union Cabinet for the second time in the NDA government.

He has replaced Bhupender Yadav, who won Lok Sabha elections from Alwar in Rajasthan and was sworn in as a cabinet minister on Sunday.

The big challenge before Mandaviya is to implement labour reforms which mandate consolidating 44 labour laws into four codes on wages, social security, industrial relation and occupational safety, health and working conditions, especially when BJP has got a fractured mandate in the election amid strong opposition in Parliament.

The Centre as well as most states are ready with the draft rules to enforce the four codes. The labour reforms could not be introduced in Modi 2.0 government as the Centre wanted to enforce the rules along with states in one go.

Labour is a concurrent subject where states as well as the Centre have the right to draft laws and rules.

Fighting Lok Sabha elections for the first time after being a Rajya Sabha member for two terms, Mandaviya won from Porbandar in Gujarat defeating Congress' Lalit Vasoya by a margin of more than 3.8 lakh votes.

Known as "Green MP" for his penchant for cycling to Parliament, Mandaviya, 51, has been steadily rising through the party ranks ever since he associated himself with BJP as a youth.

In the Modi government 2.0, he led the ministries of health and chemicals and fertilisers. Mandaviya was entrusted with the health portfolio in the middle of 2021 when the nation was battling the COVID-19 crisis.

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