Jamshedpur 8th July 2021: BJP’s Koderma MP Annapurna Devi was inducted into Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Council of Ministers on Wednesday evening when the full list of new members was officially announced.
Devi is among 43 new faces who took part in the swearing-in ceremony in the evening.
Two MPs from Jharkhand—Arjun Munda (Khunti) and Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi (Rajya Sabha)—are already Union ministers, looking after tribal and minority affairs, respectively.
However, technically Mukhtar Abbas is not from Jharkhand.
Devi, who is currently the national vice-president of the BJP, was part of the Lalu Prasad-led Rashtriya Janata Dal until the 2019 parliamentary elections.
She was also the state president of RJD in Jharkhand and had to contest from Koderma on a party ticket.
However, she left the RJD and joined the BJP before the elections.
The saffron camp pitted Devi from the Koderma seat against Babulal Marandi, who was then the chief of the JVM-P, which is now dormant after its merger with the BJP.
The party’s gamble on Devi, a prominent Yadav face, worked out as she defeated Marandi by a margin of over 4 lakh votes.
Devi entered politics in 1998, following the death of her husband, Ramesh Prasad Yadav, a minister in the Rabri Devi cabinet.
Since then, Devi has been a four-time MLA from Koderma on an RJD ticket.
However, in the 2014 assembly elections, she lost to BJP’s Neera Yadav.
Annapurna Devi left Lalu Prasad Yadav’s RJD in the 2019 parliamentary elections and joined the saffron camp and became an MP.
Annapurna herself served as Minister of State in the Rabri Devi Mantralaya in 2000.
She also took an oath as a cabinet minister in the Shibu Soren ministry.
The other political portfolios she held in her illustrious career spanning 23 years were those of the Ministry of Irrigation and the Ministry of Women and Child Welfare in the Bihar cabinet.
As her cabinet minister, the BJP has sent a message to capture Yadav voters in both Bihar and Jharkhand.