Ahmedabad, May 30 (IANS) When Prime Minister Narendra Modi inducted Gujarat politician Parshottam Rupala as the Union Minister of State for Panchayati Raj in 2016 and later included Agriculture and Farmer Welfare in his profile in 2017, it did not surprise anyone.
Born into a family of farmers on October 1, 1954, in Ishvariya village in Amreli district in Saurashtra region, Rupala comes off as a typically rustic grassroots politician.
Before plunging into active politics, the tall and aggressive Rupala was principal of a government school in Saurashtra region’s Amreli district from 1977 to 1983. Subsequently, from 1983 to 1987 he served as the Chief Officer of the Amreli Municipality.
Rupala married Savitaben in 1979 and has a son and a daughter.
His first political post as the Bharatiya Janata Party’s Amreli district president came in 1988 and in 1991, he was made the secretary of the Gujarat unit of the party. Then there was no looking back.
Rupala was elected as an MLA from Amreli for the first time in 1991 and won for two consecutive elections thereafter till 2002. In view of his background, he was made a cabinet minister for Narmada, Irrigation and Water Resources and later for Agriculture.
He was elected to the Rajya Sabha in 2016 and subsequently inducted in the Union Council of Ministers.
A Patidar from the Kadva Patidar sub-sect, Rupala also worked hard on behalf of his party to take on Hardik Patel, the young firebrand leader from his community, though could not do much to stop him.