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From bureaucrat to cycle-riding Chief Whip and MoS: Arjun Ram Meghwal set to return as Union minister

The BJP’s Arjun Ram Meghwal, who was Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Law and Justice in the outgoing Narendra Modi government, is among the leaders expected to take oath as Union ministers in the new government on Sunday.

A defining image of Meghwal dates back to 2015, when as the BJP’s Chief Whip in the Lok Sabha, he would cycle to Parliament in his trademark Rajasthani turban, kurta-pyjama and a sleeveless jacket. A banner on his cycle, with the BJP’s colours in the background, would proclaim that he is the MP from Bikaner. This helped lend Meghwal an image of simplicity.

The 70-year-old, who is a post-graduate in Political Science and also has law and MBA degrees, was a Rajasthan Administrative Services officer before being promoted to the IAS. Ahead of the 2009 Lok Sabha polls, Meghwal took voluntary retirement to contest from the Bikaner parliamentary constituency on a BJP ticket.

It was his run-ins with the Congress party that prompted Meghwal to take up politics. During the 2008 Assembly elections, he was transferred from Churu as Collector after the Congress alleged that he was hand in glove with the BJP.

After Congress formed the government in December 2008, Meghwal was transferred four times in as many months.

Prior to the 2009 LS elections, the Bikaner seat was held by actor Dharmendra. But in 2009, it was declared an SC-reserved seat following delimitation, and the BJP invited Meghwal to contest. While the Congress’s Rewat Ram Panwar seemed to have an edge as a former MLA, Meghwal won by almost 20,000 votes.

By 2010, Meghwal had made it to the BJP’s National Executive and was named the vice-president of the party’s Rajasthan unit. In 2012, he moved a Private Member’s Bill against the Delhi High

Read more on indianexpress.com