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Nishank: Poet-politician gets a ministerial berth

twitter-logoPTI | May 30, 2019 | Updated 20:23 IST

Dehradun, May 30 (PTI) After his term as the Uttarakhand chief minister ended in 2011, Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank remained in political wilderness of sorts for eight years. On Thursday, he was sworn-in as minister in the Narendra Modi cabinet. During these years, he won every election he contested, but did not get any ministerial berth in his state or at the Centre. Nishank won the Doiwala assembly seat in 2012. Two years later, he vacated the seat to contest from Haridwar in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, defeating the then chief minister Harish Rawat's wife Renuka by 1.7 lakh votes. In the 2019 elections, he retained the seat, defeating Ambrish Kumar of the Congress by a bigger margin of 2.59 lakh votes. Nishank has been elected to the state assembly five times, first in undivided Uttar Pradesh and later Uttarakhand from 1991 to 2014. He is said to be close to BJP president Amit Shah and Nitin Gadkari. He is also known for proximity to yoga guru Ramdev. According to a survey conducted by the Association for Democratic Reforms, he asked 389 questions in the Lok Sabha, the maximum among the five MPs from the state. Nishank is a prolific Hindi writer with 36 works to his credit, of which 10 have been translated into other languages. His works include novels, short stories, poems and travelogues. He holds a PhD degree from Hemwati Nandan Bahuguna Garhwal University. Nishank hails from Pinani village in Pauri, a district which has produced personalities like Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, Uttarakhand CM Trivendra Singh Rawat, Army chief Bipin Rawat and National Security Adviser Ajit Doval. PTI ALM RDK RDK

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