Harsh Malhotra Sworn-in as Union Minister of State in Modi Government

East Delhi Lok Sabha MP Harsh Malhotra was on Sunday sworn-in as a Union Minister of State in the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Mr. Malhotra, 58, a first-time MP, was picked as the BJP candidate from the East Delhi constituency after the party dropped its sitting MP Gautam Gambhir. He defeated Aam Aadmi Party candidate Kuldeep Kumar.

According to BJP sources, the names of West Delhi MP Kamaljeet Sehrawat and North East Delhi MP Manoj Tiwari were also discussed. A source said Mr. Tiwari’s name was dropped as leaders from the Purvanchal region of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar had already been accommodated in the Union Council of Ministers. The name of Bansuri Swaraj, a first-time MP and the daughter of the late BJP leader Sushma Swaraj, wasn’t discussed.

Ms. Sehrawat’s name was recommended due to her media-friendly image. She had earlier served as the Mayor of the erstwhile South Delhi Municipal Corporation.

Mr. Malhotra, who had served as the Mayor of the erstwhile East Delhi Municipal Corporation in 2015, was picked because of his “ground connect” and “organisational mindset”, a party source said. He is presently the general secretary of the BJP’s Delhi unit. He had joined the BJP youth wing in 1984.

Mr. Malhotra was elected as a councillor from Welcome Colony in 2012. Born to migrant parents from Amritsar and brought up in north-east Delhi’s Shahdara, the East Delhi MP is a graduate in botany and holds a law degree from Delhi University.

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