Jual Oram - BJP's tribal face in Odisha

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Bhubaneswar, Jun 9 (PTI) Veteran BJP leader Jual Oram, who stands as a beacon of tribal leadership in Odisha, was inducted into the Narendra Modi 3.0 government on Sunday as a central minister.

The 63-year-old leader, hailing from Odisha's Sundargarh district, holds the distinction of being the country's first tribal affairs minister, following the establishment of the Ministry of Tribal Affairs under the leadership of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

He has a long political experience both as an MLA and an MP. His electoral triumphs include successive wins from the tribal-dominated Bonai assembly constituency in 1990 and 1995.

The tribal leader was elected to the Lok Sabha for six terms from Sundargarh. Additionally, he became president of the BJP's Odisha unit on three occasions.

Despite his defeat in the 2009 Lok Sabha elections to former Congress chief minister Hemananda Biswal, Oram demonstrated resilience in 2014 when the BJP lost 20 of the 21 parliamentary seats in Odisha.

Oram emerged victorious from Sundargarh, defeating BJD's nominee and Indian Hockey player Dilip Tirkey. He earned a ministerial berth in the Narendra Modi cabinet.

The BJP leader, who defeated BJD's Sunita Biswal from Sundargarh in 2019, did not get any ministerial berth.

During the campaign this time when he was again pitted against Tirkey, Oram said, “He was the captain in Hockey, but I am a seasoned player in politics.” Oram defeated Tirkey by a margin of 1,38,808 votes. PTI AAM BDC