Three-term MP Raksha Khadse rises from sarpanch to Union Minister

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Raksha Khadse takes oath as Union Cabinet Minister in the Modi Cabinet 2024

Raksha Khadse takes oath as Union Cabinet Minister in the Modi Cabinet 2024

New Delhi: It was a twist of fate that thrust Raksha Khadse, the three-term Lok Sabha member from Raver in north Maharashtra, into the rough and tumble of national politics.

Raksha Khadse, 37, the daughter-in-law of former BJP leader Eknath Khadse, started her political innings as a sarpanch of Kothali village in the state's Jalgaon district in 2010, the native place of the family.

The death by suicide of her husband Nikhil in 2013 after a loss in the Maharashtra Legislative Council election by a whisker to NCP leader Manish Jain prompted her to contest the Lok Sabha elections in Raver in 2014.

Raksha Khadse, then a 26-year-old, won the Raver Lok Sabha seat against NCP candidate Manish Jain, avenging her husband's defeat.

The young leader hit the 2014 Lok Sabha poll campaign trail with her two children, a sight that appealed to voters and led to her victory by a margin of more than three lakh votes.

In the 2019 general elections, Raksha Khadse increased her margin to 3.35 lakh votes, and she won the 2024 Lok Sabha elections by a margin of 2.72 lakh votes against NCP nominee Shriram Patil.

Raksha Khadse hails from the influential Leva Patil community of north Maharashtra.

"It is a matter of happiness that the party has given me a great responsibility. It will be my endeavour to work with dedication for the country under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi," Khadse said.

Khadse has a B.Sc degree in computer science and has been associated with several social welfare projects.