A technology-savvy farmer Gajendra Singh Shekhawat comes from Jodhpur, the home district of former Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot, and is a prominent member of the Rajput community. Born in Rajasthan’s Sikar on October 3, 1967, he was the national general secretary of the farmers’ wing of the Bharatiya Janata Party, the BJP Kisan Morcha. His inclusion in the Cabinet comes ahead of the Rajasthan Assembly elections due next year.
Shekhawat was the co-convener of the Swadeshi Jagran Manch, the economic wing of the RSS, and the general secretary of ‘Seema Jan Kalyan Samiti’, an organisation dedicated to strengthen national security by developing border towns and villages. He was also instrumental in setting up 40 schools and 4 hostels along the Indo-Pak border.
Starting his political career with student politics, he rose through the party ranks since being elected as president of student union of JNVU University in 1992 under the banner of Akhil Bhartiya Vidhyarthi Parishad. Shekhawat had won the elections by a record margin. He was elected as an MP from Jodhpur in 2014 with a margin of 4,10,051 votes.
Known for his simple lifestyle and amiable nature, he is popularly referred to as ‘Gajju bana’ by his followers. Trains are his preferred mode of transport and he travels by Mandore Express, the superfast train which runs between Jodhpur and Delhi, almost every weekend for official duties.
One of his major achievements as an MP has been the expansion of the Jodhpur Airport, a demand that had continuously been raised from the last 18 years.
As an MP he actively participates in debates in Parliament and is a widely followed political leader on Quora (a popular Q&A blogging site). He has an M.Phil and M.A. in Philosophy from Jai Narain Vyas University, Jodhpur. He was a sports enthusiast and played basketball at national and inter-university level.
He was a Member of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance and Chairperson of the Fellowship Committee. He was also a member of the All India Council of Sports and the President of Basketball India Players Association.