Pralhad Joshi becomes Union New & Renewable Energy Minister

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New Delhi, Jun 10 (PTI) A die-hard RSS loyalist and long-time BJP worker Pralhad Joshi has been appointed New & Renewable Energy Minister, who replaces RK Singh as he lost the election from the Arrah constituency.

Joshi is a five-time member of Parliament from the saffron party's bastion of Dharwad in Karnataka.

His main challenge will be to push the National Green Hydrogen Mission in the country. The government had also provided Rs 19,744 crore for setting a manufacturing capacity of electrolysers used for producing green hydrogen. The mission also provides incentives to produce green hydrogen and ammonia.

Besides, Joshi will have to ensure 50 GW capacity addition of renewable energy every year to achieve the ultimate target of 500 GW of non-fossil fuel-based power generation by 2030.

India has set a huge trajectory of renewables to achieve the ambitious target of net zero emissions by 2070.

Joshi is said to be close to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP leader Amit Shah. He held portfolios of Coal, Mines and Parliamentary Affairs in the previous Cabinet or Modi 2.0.

As Parliamentary Affairs Minister, he played a key role in the functioning of both the Houses and in the passing of many crucial bills of national importance during the 17th Lok Sabha.

He spearheaded a series of initiatives and policy interventions, which led to "unlocking the true potential" of the Coal & Mining sector towards self-reliance, a senior BJP leader has said.

Joshi, who had also served as BJP Karnataka president, came to the limelight as 'Rastradwaja Horata Samiti Sanchalak', when the party organised a movement to hoist the tricolour at Idgah Maidan in Hubballi that had created a huge law and order situation, and also "Save Kashmir Movement" in the early 1990s.

He won the Dharwad Lok Sabha seat by a margin of 97,324 votes, defeating Congress' Vinod Assoti in the recently concluded Lok Sabha polls.

An astute political strategist, Joshi had also served as the party's election observer or election in-charge of many states like Uttarakhand, Telangana and Rajasthan.

In his long political career spanning decades, this will be the second time that Joshi will be serving as a minister.

In the 16th Lok Sabha, Joshi served as the chairperson of the Standing Committee on Petroleum and Natural Gas and also as a member of various committees, including the Lok Sabha, Business Advisory Committee, and Committee on Ethics. PTI ABI KKS ABI BAL BAL