A political reshuffle at the Cabinet level has turned things around for many. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s major Cabinet overhaul is said to have rewarded the top performers from the party. And it’s in this light that the reshuffle saw the emergence of Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi in the Cabinet as the Minister of Minority Affairs.
With Najma Heptullah’s exit, Naqvi becomes the only Muslim with a complete portfolio in the Cabinet. Naqvi was even reported to have not been on great terms with Heptullah.
A long tryst with the BJP
Having started off as a youth wing leader, Naqvi is not a new name in the BJP. He got elected to the BJP on a ticket from Rampur and Naqvi had earlier served as Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting for then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
As the Vice President of the party, he has also served as the spokesperson of the party since a long time. He earlier held the Minister of State Parliamentary affairs post and his experience in the area is expanse, as he has served as a Rajya Sabha member thrice and once as a Lok Sabha member.
The party’s Muslim face
Since his election to the BJP in 1988 from Rampur (being the first Muslim to do so), Naqvi has risen the ranks and has emerged as the Muslim face for BJP. Over the years, Naqvi has been at the helm of several important posts including Committee on Finance, Committee on Commerce, Joint Committee on the functioning of Wakf Boards and Committee on Information and Technology.
However, his appointment that comes right after the annulment of Triple Talaq, seems to be a move by BJP to gain the respect and support of the Muslim population in India. Naqvi has openly spoken against Triple Talaq, calling it a social evil.
Reported to be an easy-going person, Naqvi is expected to continue to be BJP’s Muslim face for the 2019 general elections as well.
Handling Minority Affairs
For BJP that has long been ridiculed for its saffron agenda it’s expected that Naqvi’s appointment will help change the scenario.
His opinions regarding the Muslim community and BJP government have been well reported. Naqvi is said to have told that having a Muslim leader in the top rung of the cabinet will only help gain the confidence of the community. After the oath-taking ceremony on Sunday, Naqvi is reported to have told the media that he will be working towards a New India that is inclusive in nature, thus fulfilling the Prime Minister’s promises.