Shiv Pratap Shukla, a Rajya Sabha member from Uttar Pradesh, took oath as a minister in PM Narendra Modi’s cabinet. Today, 9 new union ministers from BJP took the oath, ending days of speculation over the much-anticipated reshuffle. The list included four former administrators. A total of 13 ministers took oath today. While 4 ministers including Piyush Goyal and Nirmala Sitharaman were elevated to the Cabinet rank, it was expected that the Prime Minister will also appoint the new Defense minister and Railway minister in the latest reshuffle in his cabinet.
Shiv Pratap Shukla had been a Minister for Prisons in the Kalyan Singh-led BJP government in Uttar Pradesh. Shukla, a law graduate from Deen Dayal Upadhyay Gorakhpur University, had begun his political career as a student leader in the 1970s. Prior to becoming a Rajya Sabha MP last year, Shukla was an MLA for four consecutive terms: 1989, 1991, 1993 and 1996. Shukla and CM Yogi Adityanath’s rivalry in the state is well known. This move by BJP is a political balancing act in UP in the wake of the traditional Thakur-Brahmin rivalry in the state.
Shukla was appointed Vice President of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Uttar Pradesh in February 2012 under the presidency of Surya Pratap Shahi. He had initiated an Education for all scheme which tied together ten districts for the first time and for his efforts to reform conditions for prisoners and various Rural Development Schemes.
S.P.Shukla’s life as a politician started in the early 1970s when he was the student leader of Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) and elected as the Provincial Secretary of Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM) in 1981. Shukla campaigned in the General Elections in 1989 and was elected a member of the Uttar Pradesh Legislative Assembly.
One year back, Shukla was reportedly interested in getting elected to the legislative council in UP. However, just before the upcoming by-polls, he has been named for new ministers in Modi government.