Pradhan, minister who convinced people to 'Give It Up', gets promoted
New Delhi: Like another Minister of State who has been elevated to Cabinet rank Piyush Goyal, Pradhan's political career has also risen steeply in the BJP. He is perceived to have worked well with the twin responsibilities of an MoS and a party worker.
Pradhan till now was the MoS, Petroleum and Natural Gas.
He performed well in a scheme close to Modi – Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana – through which LPG connections have been provided to 2.5 crore people. The ultimate aim of this project being to give LPG connections to 5 crore people by 2019 at Rs 1,600 per connection.
He also managed to make a success of the 'Give It Up' - to forego subsidised cooking gas or LPG voluntarily - scheme that Modi had pitched in his '16 I-Day speech from Red Fort. the "Give it Up" plan for people.
The scheme was said to have been a contributing factor in BJP success in Uttar Pradesh.
In his other role – as a party worker – Pradhan has also performed for the party. He was made the in-charge of Uttarakhand where BJP won 56 of the 70 assembly seats.
But Pradhan's elevation also comes in the backdrop of assembly elections due in Odisha, Pradhan's home state. The party has increasing its clout in the state steadily over the last one year. The party doubled its seat share in the recently held panchayat election, rising from the earlier 18% to 33%. He has also worked for the party in Jharkhand, where the party is currently in power.
Pradhan comes from a political family. His father was also a BJP MP from Odisha who later went on to become a minister in AB Vajpayee government. Dharmendra Pradhan started as a student activist in ABVP, becoming its national secretary, and the national secretary of Bhartiya Janata Yuva Morcha. He was made the national secretary of the party in 2011. Pradhan has since his appointment as MoS in 2014, maintained a low-profile and is seen to have kept various lobbies away from the oil ministry.