Pratap Chandra Sarangi, a parliamentarian from Odisha, was sworn-in as Minister of State in PM Modi’s cabinet. Known as Odisha’s Modi, Sarangi is an unlikely politician who is more famous for his humility than for his political achievements. Sarangi, who is a bachelor always vouched for simple living and high thinking. The first time MP from Balasore, Odisha came to light when his photo surfaced on Twitter. The picture, taken before he was leaving for the oath-taking ceremony in Delhi, had him carrying a simple jhola bag, standing in front of his modest house, wearing a kurta-pyjama with unkempt hair and a long beard.
Sarangi who lives in a thatched house, rides a bicycle and leads a simple life. His main strength what people of Balasore say is his simplicity. "My lifestyle has been like this since childhood. It is not going to change with power. I believe in meeting the basic needs of life and working for the people and the country," Sarangi had told TOI.
Sarangi defeated two high-profile candidates in Balasore - outgoing BJD MP and industrialist Rabindra Jena, as well as Nabajyoti Patnaik, son of Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee president Nirajan Patnaik. Both were also among the state's richest MP candidates. He became MLA twice from Nilgiri in 2004 and 2009.
Sarangi had lost the 2014 elections he had fought on a BJP ticket as well. He had however won in the 2009 Odisha Assembly election which he fought as an independent candidate, despite getting a Bharatiya Janata Party ticket. The decision to fight independent was not made on purpose. Sarangi had simply lost his party ticket while travelling in a public transport vehicle.
Here are some of the interesting facts about Pratap Singh Sarangi:
BJP's general secretary Ram Madhav in a tweet on the newly elected MoS said, "Salute to the indomitable spirit of the RSS man."