Suresh Prabhu joins BJP before swearing-in

Sena denied him nomination to Union Cabinet from its quota

Suresh Prabhu joins BJP before swearing-in

Minutes before being sworn in as Union Cabinet Minister on Sunday, banker-turned-politician Suresh Prabhu bid goodbye to the Shiv Sena and joined the BJP.

Prabhu joined the BJP on Sunday morning as the Sena was unwilling to nominate him to the Union Cabinet from its quota. The 61-year-old leader has been a favourite of many within the BJP.

He was the Industry Minister in Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s 13-day government.  When Vajpayee returned to power in 1998, he entrusted key portfolios such as Environment and Forests, Chemical and Fertilisers and later Power with Prabhu. 

Prabhu was instrumental in streamlining the functioning of the Power Ministry and ensuring the passage of the Electricity Bill that enabled the NDA put power generation on the fast track. Prabhu had to quit the Union Cabinet following differences with Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackeray but Vajpayee utilised his services by making him chairman of the taskforce on inter-linking of rivers.

Lost in 2009
Prabhu lost the 2009 Lok Sabha polls as his election agent for years and the then Konkan strongman Narayan Rane switched sides to the Congress.

He kept himself busy in academics – pursuing two doctorates simultaneously, one on Public Finance from Mumbai University and the other from Berlin University on Climate Change. Considered close to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, he was recently head of a high-level Advisory Group for Integrated Development of Power, Coal and Renewable Energy for reforms in the power sector, and is working on or is a member of over a dozen major international organisations and panels.

Modi had also given him the task of steering India’s position for the upcoming G20 summit. As Modi’s “sherpa” for next week’s summit in Australia, Prabhu has been participating in preparatory meetings involving leaders from 20 nations.
A qualified chartered accountant, Prabhu has held several posts in the banking sector including Director of Saraswat Bank, a prominent cooperative bank in Maharashtra. He was also Chairman of the Maharashtra State Finance Commission before moving to politics. Born on July 11, 1953, Prabhu hails from Ratnagiri in Maharashtra.

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