After defeating Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot's son from the high-stakes Jodhpur seat, Gajendra Singh Shekhawat appeared set to get his second stint in the Union ministry.
Shekhawat was first elected to the Lok Sabha from Jodhpur in 2014 and was made the minister of state for agriculture and farmers' welfare in September 2017. On Thursday, he was sworn-in as a cabinet minister.
As an MP, Shekhawat contributed to the development of the civil airport of Jodhpur city, which is also known as the 'blue city', and expansion of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences.
The 51-year-old had defeated Ashok Gehlot's son Vaibhav Gehlot in Jodhpur by over 2.7 lakh votes. The chief minister had represented the constituency five times since 1980.
"This election is about government versus workers and common people. It is an election between the CM's son and a common man's son," Shekhawat had told PTI during election campaign.
Known for his oratory skills and popular in his constituency, Shekhawat is often fondly referred to as "Gajju banna".
The two-time MP had strained relations with former chief minister Vasundhara Raje. Shekhawat was once in the running for the post of the BJP's state president. But, amid strong opposition from Raje, he lost out to Madan Lal Saini.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader, however, was appointed as the convener of the election committee for the assembly election.
Shekhawat made his debut in politics as the president of the Jai Narain Vyas University student union in 1992. He remained closely associated with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh in the region, especially in the border areas of Barmer and Jaisalmer.
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