While the Indian government has a dedicated ministry for environment and forests, from a holistic perspective, the issues of environment fall under the purview of various ministries. For instance, Power (especially Renewable Energy) has a big role, so does corporate affairs (which came out with the CSR bill), urban housing, water. Thus, it is a team of cabinet ministers that is actually responsible for environmental issues. Thus, here’s
a profile of that team that will be in charge when it comes environment and other related issues:
Prakash Javadekar, I&B and MoEF
One of the most visible faces of BJP on television, Prakash Javadekar is considered close to former party president Nitin Gadkari, a member of
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s core group. A former banker, Javadekar, 63, had his grooming in politics in Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), the students wing of RSS. He was a member of the Maharashtra Legislative Council for two terms from 1990 to 2002 before being elected to Rajya Sabha in 2008. Hailing from Pune, Javadekar, a commerce graduate, is a BJP spokesperson and party’s in charge of Andhra Pradesh. He also takes active interest in environmental matters and have participated in various conventions across the globe.
Piyush Goyal, Power & MNRE
A chartered accountant by profession Piyush Goyal is a Rajya Sabha MP from Maharashtra and the BJP’s national treasurer. He also heads the party’s IT communication and campaign cell that spearheaded Modi’s online and social media reach. A well-known investment banker, he has advised top corporates on management strategy and growth; also served on the Board of India’s largest commercial bank, the State Bank of India and Bank of Baroda. Piyush is a member of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance and the Consultative Committee for the Ministry of Defence. An active member of the Managing Committee of Indian Merchants Chamber, he is also involved with NGOs in diverse fields such as tribal education and environment, welfare of the physically challenged.
Arun Jaitely, Finance, Coroprate Affairs, Defence
A close confidante of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Arun Jaitely, is among the senior most leader of the BJP. A member from Rajya sabha, Jaitley played a key role in elevation of Narendra Modi as the party’s PM nominee. However, he lost the polls to Captain Amrinder Singh of congress in Amritsar in the just concluded parliamentary elections. A lawyer by profession, Jaitley started his political career in his college days. An active member of the ABVP, he was DUSU president in 1974. A member of the national executive of the BJP since 1991, he became the Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting (Independent Charge) in 1999 in the Vajpayee-led NDA government. He was elevated as a Cabinet Minister in November 2000 and was simultaneously appointed as the Minister of Law, Justice and Company Affairs and Shipping, a portfolio vacated by Ram Jethmalani.
Jitendra Singh, Science and Technology, Earth Sciences
Jitendra Singh, born 1956, won the Lok Sabha elections from Udhampur seat in Jammu and Kashmir, defeating Congress’ Ghulam Nabi Azad. He is an endocrinologist and spokesman of the BJP in the state. He was a Professor of Diabetes and Endocrinology at Government Medical College and Hospital Jammu but resigned after joining the Bharatiya Janata Party in 2012. An author of eight books and a columnist, he also remained National Executive member and chief spokesperson for the state of Jammu and Kashmir.In the political realm, he came into focus as the spokesperson of Shri Amarnath Yatra Sangarsh Samiti (SAYSS) which spearheaded the Amarnath land agitation in 2008.
Nirmala Sitharaman, Commerce and Industry (Independent Charge), Finance, Corporate Affairs
Nirmala Sitharaman is another articulate BJP spokesperson who have been rewarded with a ministerial berth. Not a member of either Lok Sabha or Rajya Sabha presently, she is likely to be nominated to the Upper House by BJP. Born in Tamil Nadu and married into an Andhra family, the 59-year-old joined BJP even though her in-laws have had an association with Congress. She is also a former member of National Commission for Women
Venkiah Naidu, Urban Development Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation, Parliamentary Affairs
Muppavarapu Venkaiah Naidu is a Rajya Sabha from Karnataka but has been made a cabinet minister from the Andhra Pradesh quota. Naidu, a good orator who served as president of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) between 2002 and 2004, is one of the senior most leaders of the BJP in Andhra Pradesh. Hailing from Nellore district in south coastal Andhra, the 64-year-old has become the cabinet minister for the second time. He was minister for rural development in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government. Naidu, who holds a degree in law, was attracted by the JP movement and formed the Loknayak Jai Prakash Chhatra Sangharsha Samithi in 1974. After graduating from V R College, Nellore, he obtained law degree from Andhra University at Visakhapatnam. He was also the president of Students Union, Andhra University Colleges in 1973.
Uma Bharti, Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation
Uma Ragini Bharti, a strong believer in Hindu philosophies, is among the most controversial leader of the BJP. She started her political career with BJP at a very young age but left it midway and joined back again. At the age of 25, she unsuccessfully contested for parliament elections. In 1989 she became the member of parliament from Khajuraho. She was also the chief minister of Madhya Pradesh for a brief stint in the year 2003. During the reign of Atal Bihari Vajpayee as the Prime Minister, Uma Bharti held state level responsibilities over the Human Resource Development, Tourism, Youth Affairs & Sports, and Coal Mines.
Gopinath Munde, Rural Development, Panchayati Raj, Drinking Water and Sanitation
A heavyweight state leader of BJP from Maharasthra, Gopinath Munde, is the former deputy chief minister of the state. Rose from the ranks of Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad activist, brother in law of slain BJP leader Pramod Mahajan, Munde was instrumental in expanding BJP at the grass root level in Maharashtra.Under his leadership, party changed its status from cadre based party to a mass movement. He has friends in almost all the parties and currently he is also the general secretary of Bhartiya Janata Party.
Ananth Kumar, Chemicals and Fertilizers
Ananth Kumar, once considered close to party patriarch L K Advani, is from the RSS stable and is known for his political adroitness with his ears close to the ground. Kumar became a sixth time Lok Sabha member from Bangalore South, defeating Congress candidate and IT Czar Nandan Nilekani. Known for his strong organisational skills, Kumar, a law graduate, has previously held ministerial portfolios such as Civil Aviation, Tourism, Sports & Youth Affairs, Culture, Urban Development and Poverty Alleviation in the earlier governments formed by the National Democratic Alliance since 1998.
Narendra Singh Tomar, Mines, Steel, Labour and Employment
Madhya Pradesh BJP chief Narendra Singh Tomar’s rise in his political career has been quite significant. 56-year-old Tomar, who made his debut in the Union Council of Ministers, has held several important positions in the party and was instrumental in ensuring a third term for Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan besides a thumping victory for the party in the Lok Sabha polls. Of the total 29 Lok Sabha seats in the state, BJP won 27. Tomar, who is known for his connect with the rank and file of the party, shares a good rapport with the RSS leadership.
Smirti Irani, HRD
A close loyalist of Narendra Modi among young guns in BJP, Smriti Irani, one of the most popular faces on the small screen is rising star in the party. She continued to under spotlight after she switched over from TV to politics and fought two tough electoral battles in the last ten years including one against Congress heavyweight Kapil Sibal from Chandni Chowk in Delhi in 2004. As BJP’s candidate from Congress bastion of Amethi in Uttar Pradesh where she took on Rahul, Irani fought one of the most high profile electoral contests of the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. She lost but not without putting up an impressive fight that saw Rahul’s margin of victory to just over a lakh. A former National President of BJP’s women’s wing, Irani now holds the position of Vice President in the party.
Nitin Gadkari, Transport, Road
Ntin Gadkari, is an entrepreneur and a political activist who as party president steadied the BJP after its defeat in the 2009 Lok Sabha elections. Gadkari, 56, is regarded close to the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, the ideological mentor of the Bharatiya Janata Party. He is the second former party chief to find a berth in Modi’s cabinet after M. Venkaiah Naidu. A former minister in Maharashtra, Gadkari was brought to the BJP’s centre
stage as part of a well thought-out move to push forward younger leadership after the 2009 Lok Sabha polls when the party registered ts second consecutive defeat. When end-2009 he came to Delhi as party president, Gadkari was unknown in the corridors of power in the capital and sought to adopt a consultative approach in running the party. As state PWD minister in Maharashtra between 1995 and 1999, Gadkari is credited with improving the state’s road infrastructure. He overcame bureaucratic hurdles to complete projects like the Mumbai-Pune Expressway and 55 flyover bridges in Mumbai at a cost way below the original estimates. He also played a role in shaping up Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana during Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s tenure as the prime minister. He took keen interest in areas such as water conservation, cooperative sector and renewable energy.