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Vijay Goel, S S Ahluwalia bounce back in Modi govt

PTI New Delhi | Updated on January 17, 2018 Published on July 05, 2016

President Pranab Mukherjee administering the oath of office to the newly inducted Minister S.S. Ahluwalia during the swearing in ceremony at the President house in New Delhi. Photo: R.V. Moorthy   -  The Hindu

Vijay Goel taking the oath of office during the swearing in ceremony at the President house in New Delhi. Photo : R. V. Moorthy   -  The Hindu

The two leaders were identified with the old order in the BJP.

The induction of Vijay Goel and S S Ahluwalia as ministers in the Modi government marks a turnaround in the fortune of two leaders, who were identified with the old order in the BJP and seen to be not in the good books of the top party brass until not long ago.

The fall in the 62-year-old Goel’s stock was as swift as the rise of Narendra Modi and Amit Shah in the party. He was removed as BJP’s Delhi unit chief and assigned little role in the last two Assembly elections in the national capital. He was sent to Rajya Sabha from Rajasthan.

Goel’s perseverance and efforts to voice the party’s and the government’s agenda have brought him back in the reckoning and his experience as a minister in the first NDA government under Atal Bihari Vajpayee was seen as an added asset.

Many in BJP believe that the media savvy leader can be an effective counter to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s frequent attacks on the central government.

Ahluwalia, 65, was a minister in the Narasimha Rao-led Congress government before he joined BJP and was seen close to party leader Sushma Swaraj.

In 2012, the party then headed by Nitin Gadkari, did not nominate him again to Rajya Sabha when his term ended. Later, he was given a Lok Sabha ticket in 2014 to contest from Darjeeling in place of Jaswant Singh.

He is seen as an effective parliamentarian.

An outspoken leader who speaks Hindi and English besides some regional languages with equal ease, Ahluwalia’s understanding of parliamentary affairs and experience as a former minister are seen as his positives.

Published on July 05, 2016

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