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Former IAS officer and two-time MLA Som Parkash takes oath as first-time MP

twitter-logoPTI | May 30, 2019 | Updated 21:23 IST

New Delhi, May 30 (PTI) A former IAS officer in Punjab and two-time MLA from the Phagwara Assembly constituency, Som Parkash is a first-time MP elected from the Hoshiarpur (SC) constituency. Parkash was sworn in as a Union minister of state on Thursday. A prominent Dalit face in Punjab's Doaba region, Som Parkash defeated Congress nominee and legislator Raj Kumar Chabbewal from Hoshiarpur by just 48,530 votes. The BJP had benched its sitting MP Vijay Sampla and fielded Parkash from the constituency. Parkash, who had taken premature retirement from the IAS to join the BJP, had unsuccessfully fought from the Hoshiarpur seat in the 2009 Lok Sabha polls. He had lost by a very thin margin. The former bureaucrat had contested the 2012 Assembly polls from the Phagwara seat on a BJP ticket and won. He was re-elected from the seat in the 2017 assembly election. Parkash shared a strained relationship with Sampla, who as the Punjab BJP chief had opposed his candidature for the 2017 assembly polls. But he turned out to be among the three BJP candidates who won the election. In February this year, he had raised concerns in the state Assembly over the rising cases of superstition, especially among women, in Punjab and sought effective steps to curb them. Parkash, who was born in April 1949, is an MA (Economics) from the Panjab University, Chandigarh. He had started his career as a research officer in the Punjab State Planning Board in 1972. Thereafter, he became an excise and taxation officer in the Punjab Excise Department. Parkash has served as the deputy commissioner of Faridkot, Hoshiarpur and Jalandhar and has also held posts like the labour commissioner, Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority (PUDA) chief administrator, managing director of the Punjab Financial Corporation and director of the Social Security Department. PTI CHS VSD IJT

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