Bhupender Yadav, supreme court lawyer and the BJP’s man in charge of key states, took oath as a Cabinet minister in the mega reshuffle effected by Prime Minister Narendra Modi today. Yadav is known to be close to both PM Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah and has been credited with several of the BJP’s big wins in state elections. 

Bhupender Yadav will be a minister for the first time and zooms straight up to Cabinet rank. PM Modi‘s new-look council of ministers is designed to include professionals and younger leaders and the 52-year-old lawyer fits the bill. 

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The elevation comes on the back of a successful stint as a key organisational leader and two terms in Parliament that have earned Bhupender Yadav the sobriquet “committee man,” for the number of parliamentary panels he is a member of. He has headed 12, which is seen to reflect the high esteem that the Prime Minister holds him in. 

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Those who have worked closely with Bhupender Yadav describe him as a meticulous planner and detail-oriented election strategist, who enjoys the full trust of the BJP’s election commander-in-chief Amit Shah. Yadav holds charge of key states like Bihar, where he delivered a BJP win last year and Gujarat, where assembly elections will be held next year. Bhupender Yadav’s meetings last month with top BJP leaders from Gujarat signalled he is prepping his strategy for that election. 

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Bhupender Yadav shot into prominence when the BJP tasked him with delivering his home state Rajasthan in the 2013 assembly elections. The BJP ousted the Congress, winning a massive 163 of the state’s 200 assembly seats. 

Yadav was first elected to the Rajya Sabha in 2012 and was re-elected to the upper house in 2018. He has been a national general secretary of the BJP since 2010. 

A prominent lawyer, he has appeared in several big cases including as a government counsel before the Liberhan Commission which inquired into the Babri Masjid Demolition of 1992.