In the reshuffle of Modi cabinet, BJP MP from Tikamgarh in Madhya Pradesh Dr. Virendra Kumar Khatik has also been made a minister. Khatik, who was elected to the Lok Sabha for the seventh time in 2019, is among the senior-most MPs in the country.
Khatik has got a place in Narendra Modi’s cabinet for the second time. Earlier in September 2017, he was made a Union Minister of State. She was then given the responsibility of the Ministry of Women and Base Development and Minority Welfare.
By giving Khatik a place in the cabinet, PM Modi has also tried to strike a caste balance by filling the vacancy left by Thaawarchand Gehlot’s resignation. Like Gehlot, Khatik also belongs to the Scheduled Tribes category. By including them, Modi has also given a message for the Bundelkhand region adjoining Uttar Pradesh. This is important as assembly elections are due in UP next year.
Khatik, who was associated with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh since childhood, was involved in Jayaprakash Narayan’s Sampoorna Kranti movement in 1975. When emergency was imposed in the country, they came out against it. He was sent to jail and spent 16 months in Jabalpur and Sagar jails.
After his release from jail, he was the district convener of Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad from 1977 to 1979. In 1979, he was made the organization minister of Rewa division. From 1982 to 1984, he was the General Secretary of BJP Yuva Morcha. In 1987, he took over the post of District Minister of Bajrang Dal. In 1995, he was made the state president of BJP’s Scheduled Caste Morcha.
Virendra Kumar Khatik became an MP for the first time in 1996 from the Sagar Lok Sabha seat. In 1998, 1999 and 2004 also he was elected to the Lok Sabha from the same constituency. In 2009, he contested from Tikamgarh and won again. In 2014 and 2019 also he was elected to the Lok Sabha from the same seat.