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A brief biography
As in 2019, May
Born: June 26, 1969
Experience: 1 Lok Sabha Term
Though the Naveen Patnaik era continues in Odisha, Pradhan’s efforts as leader of BJP’s campaign in the state did result in big gains in the Lok Sabha election. In the state too, BJP has replaced Congress as the number two party and seems well established to be the main challenger to Biju Janata Dal.
As the Union minister of petroleum and natural gas, Pradhan led the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana, a key initiative of the Narendra Modi government. This saw a sharp rise in LPG households from 20 lakh in 2014 to almost 78 lakh in February 2019. This, along with the #GiveUp scheme where middle-class households were urged by the government to give up LPG subsidy so that the social benefit could go to those who needed it, has been widely accepted as a pro-poor reform that helped BJP make inroads in the electorate.