Bhupender Yadav returns as environment minister

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New Delhi, Jun 10 (PTI) Bhupender Yadav, who defended India's dependence on coal at international climate talks, retained his portfolio as environment minister in the third Narendra Modi government.

Kirtivardhan Singh, the BJP MP from Gonda and a first-time minister in the Modi government, has been appointed as Union minister of state for environment.

A key organisational member of the BJP, Yadav took over as environment minister from Prakash Javadekar in the second Modi government in July 2021.

He also served as the Union labour and employment minister in the previous government. This portfolio has now been allotted to Mansukh Mandaviya.

Under Yadav's leadership, India's climate actions were rated the fourth strongest in an annual performance index released by Germanwatch in 2023, up one place from the previous year.

His achievements also include the reintroduction of cheetahs in India, a ban on identified single-use plastic items, and an increase in Ramsar sites -- wetlands of international importance -- in India.

The country made crucial amendments to forest, wildlife and environmental laws during his previous term.

Yadav's role as environment minister will be crucial with the country proposing to host the international climate talks (COP33) in 2028.

If the proposal is accepted, it would be the next major global conference in India after the G20 Summit last year. India hosted COP8 in New Delhi in 2002.

A seasoned politician and non-controversial figure, Yadav, 54, returns as a Union minister after securing his first Lok Sabha election victory. He defeated Lalit Yadav of the Congress in Rajasthan's Alwar by 48,282 votes.

He contested his first general election after serving as a party office-bearer for over two decades.

From Rajasthan, Yadav has previously been a Rajya Sabha member representing the state since 2012, with a reelection in April 2018.

His journey into politics began as a student union leader, and he served as the general secretary of the Akhil Bhartiya Adhivakta Parishad from 2000 to 2009.

Before his political career, Yadav worked as an advocate in the Supreme Court and served as government counsel for significant commissions, including the Liberhan Commission on the Babri Masjid demolition.

He has authored several books on Indian politics and the environment, reflecting his multifaceted personality and interests in poetry, literature, philosophy, yog sadhna and meditation.

Yadav's strategic acumen has been evident in his various leadership roles within the BJP, including national secretary and national general secretary.

He was instrumental in the BJP's victories in the 2023 assembly elections, particularly in his home state of Rajasthan. As the election in-charge of Madhya Pradesh, he led efforts to ensure the BJP retained power in the key Hindi-heartland state. PTI GVS GVS ANB ANB