Jitin Prasada - Brahmin face from UP - returns to Centre after 10 years

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Lucknow, Jun 9 (PTI) Jitin Prasada was once considered as among Rahul Gandhi's 'young Turks' and was a minister in successive Manmohan Singh governments but defected from the Congress to the BJP in 2021, where he has again established himself as a prominent Brahmin face of Uttar Pradesh.

The 50-year-old returned to the Centre on Sunday after he took oath as a member of the Council of Ministers led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

His father Jitendra Prasada was a Congress veteran whose fortunes plunged following his decision to contest against Sonia Gandhi for the post of party president in 2000.

Prasada, who joined the BJP before the 2022 UP Assembly elections and was made an MLC, holds the Public Works Department (PWD) department in the Yogi Adityanath government.

He won from the Pilibhit Lok Sabha seat this time where the party replaced Varun He defeated his nearest rival Samajwadi Party's Bhagwat Saran Gangwar by a significant margin of 1,64,935 votes.

The Prasada family had been associated with the Congress for three generations. Jitin Prasada had served as a Union minister twice in the Congress-led UPA government.

In 2001, Prasada became the Indian Youth Congress general secretary. He won his first election to Lok Sabha in 2004 from the Shahjahanpur seat that his father Jitendra Prasad once represented.

In his very first tenure as an MP, he was inducted as minister of state and was one of the youngest ministers in the Manmohan Singh government. He was minister of steel during his first term (2004).

He won a second term in the 2009 polls from the Dhaurahara seat after the Shahjahnapur seat went under delimitation. He held several portfolios, including as Minister of State for Human Resource Development, during the second Manmohan Singh government.

However, he was in the political wilderness for some time after losing the 2014 Lok Sabha elections and three years later the UP Assembly elections (2017), besides facing defeat in the 2019 parliamentary polls.

After the poll debacle, Prasada's decision to join the BJP was seen as a well-calculated political gambit at that time.

Before joining the BJP, he had formed the Brahmin Chetna Parishad and tried to establish himself as a Brahmin leader.

He travelled across Uttar Pradesh in 2020 and raked up issues pertaining to the Brahmin community and has also been vocal about them.

In 2021, Prasada was made the incharge of the Congress campaign in West Bengal, where his party fared badly.

He had studied at the Doon School and later pursued a degree in commerce from the Shri Ram College of Commerce in Delhi University. He completed his MBA from the International Management Institute in New Delhi.

During elections, Prasada's campaign focused on the work done by Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government in the last 10 years and often called himself a "doot" (messenger) of Modi in his election meetings. PTI ABN RT

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