Shivraj Singh Chouhan makes national debut as Union Agri & Rural Development Minister

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New Delhi, Jun 10 (PTI) In a significant political move, senior BJP leader and four-time former Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh Shivraj Singh Chouhan has made his national debut as the Union Agriculture and Rural Development Minister in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's new Cabinet.

The 65-year-old leader, popularly known as "mama" (maternal uncle) and "paon-paon wale bhaiya" (foot soldier), took oath as part of the Prime Minister's Council of Ministers on Sunday, marking a significant milestone in his over three-decade-long political career.

With his extensive experience in governance and deep connect with the rural populace, Chouhan's appointment as the Union Agriculture Minister is expected to bring fresh impetus to the government's efforts in addressing the challenges faced by the agriculture sector and the farming community.

Chouhan, who assiduously cultivated a 'son of the soil' image and identified himself with the socio-economic concerns of farmers, villagers, women, and children in Madhya Pradesh, proved his detractors wrong after being denied the chief minister's post for the fifth time last year.

Defying claims of being sidelined, the BJP leader won the Vidisha Lok Sabha seat for an impressive sixth time, securing a record margin of 8.21 lakh votes.

His induction into the Union Cabinet was widely anticipated after Prime Minister Modi lauded him at a rally in Madhya Pradesh before the Lok Sabha polls, acknowledging his contributions and popularity.

Born on March 5, 1959, in a farming family in Jait village, Sehore district, Chouhan's political journey began with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) when he was just 13 years old. He was first elected to the Madhya Pradesh Assembly from Budhni constituency in 1990 and later became a Member of Parliament from Vidisha in 1991.

He was re-elected from the same constituency in 1996, 1998, 1999, and 2004, winning his fifth Lok Sabha election with an impressive margin of over 2,60,000 votes. PTI LUX MJH CS LUX BAL BAL BAL

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