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Prahlad Singh Patel, a proponent of cow slaughter ban, returns as Union minister after 15 years


Press Trust of India Bhopal
Five-time lawmaker Prahlad Singh Patel, a strong votary of ban on cow slaughter, has got a place in the Union council of ministers once again after 15 years.
An Other Backward Class (OBC) leader from Madhya Pradesh, Patel has been brought in place of senior BJP leader Uma Bharti, who did not contest the Lok Sabha polls.
Patel, who was once considered a political protege of Bharti, got elected to the Lok Sabha for the first time in 1989.
The 57-year-old parliamentarian brought a private bill for ban on cow slaughter in Parliament way back in 2000.
He was the junior coal minister in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee-led NDA government in 2003.
He parted ways with the BJP in 2005 but returned to its fold after three years.
Patel started his political journey in 1980 as the president of the Jabalpur University Students' Union. He subsequently held powerful positions in the BJP's youth wing in the state.
Patel, a loyalist of Bharti, stood behind her like a rock when she unseated Digvijay Singh as the state's chief minister in 2003 and laid the foundation for the BJP's rule in Madhya Pradesh for the next 15 years.
However, his relationship with the BJP strained when Bharti could not become chief minister again after resigning in 2004.
Bharti resigned as the chief minister to appear before a court at Hubli in Karnataka to face charges in a case of rioting in which which five people were killed in police firing when she defied prohibitory orders to hoist the national flag at the Idgah maidan on the Independence Day of 1994.
When she was not made the chief minister again, Bharti rebelled against the BJP and floated her own Bharatiya Jan Shakti Party. Patel joined the outfit in 2005 and remained in it till 2008.
He returned to the BJP in March 2009 and after five years, contested the elections from Damoh Lok Sabha seat from where he was re-elected this time.
Patel, a strict vegetarian and a deeply religious man, is among the few politicians who have done the 'Narmada Parikrama', a walk along the banks of the river, considered sacred.

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First Published: May 30 2019 | 10:25 PM IST

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