Pratap Chandra Sarangi: Common Man to Minister of State

From common man to a cabinet minister : Pratap Chandra Sarangi

The appointment of Pratap Chandra Sarangi as the Ministr of State in Narendra Modi’s new Council of Ministers has all set the buzz to hail Indian democracy. He has been appointes as the MoS ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises and MoS ministry of Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries.

Who is Pratap Chandra Sarangi?

He is a Politician from Balasore, Odisha and serves as a National Executive member of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). He had been elected as Member of the Odisha Legislative Assembly, two times: from 2004 to 2009 and from 2009 to 2014, both times from Nilagiri constituency.

He has been a spiritual seeker since childhood. He is an active social activist in his village.Sarangi opened schools for the poor called Samar Kara Kendra, under the Gana Shikhsa Mandir Yojana in tribal villages in Balasore and Mayurbhanj District, also spending the major portion of his MLA pension to support the education of poor children in his area.

Despite, his humble background and stinting style, Sarangi is favorite by the plenty for his unselfish service, revered round the state for his honesty. Feared by his political opponents for his upright stance. In this elections he has defeated the media taycoon and an industrialist. Congress nominee, Nabajyoti Patnaik, son of the state President of congress and on the other BJD MP, the industrialist-cum-politician Rabindra Kumar Jena were contesting against him.

However, with the  Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s wave and his own goodwill, Sarangi won the race, leaving Jena, largely believed to be invincible, behind by 12,956 votes. Incidentally, Modi had campaigned for Sarangi in Balasore.

Criminal Cases Against him:

In 1999 Australian Christian missionary Graham Staines and his two children were burnt to death whilst sleeping in their station wagon in the village of Manoharpur-Keonjhar in Odisha, allegedly by a gang of Bajrang Dal. Pratap Sarangi was the chief of the Bajrang Dal during the year 1999.

After the trial, a man named Dara Singh who had links to the group, and 12 others were convicted of the crime in 2003. Pratap denied the fact saying that the investigation was not done in an unbiased and proper way.

The high court in Orissa commuted a death sentence for Singh two years later and freed 11 others who were sentenced to life-term prison citing no evidence against the accused, including Pratap Sarangi.

He was also arrested on charges of rioting, arson, assault and damaging government property after a 2002 attack on the Orissa state assembly by Hindu rightwing groups, including the Bajrang Dal.

 

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