Pratap Chandra Sarangi, the newly elected BJP parliamentarian from Odisha, today took oath as the Union Minister of State at Prime Minister Narendra Modi's swearing-in ceremony at Rashtrapati Bhavan.
The leader, known for his austere lifestyle, was greeted by loud cheers from the crowd and BJP leaders as he came on the dais. Party chief Amit Shah was seen clapping for Mr Sarangi.
Mr Sarangi, 64, is considered a giant slayer of sorts as he defeated two of the richest candidates in the Lok Sabha elections from Balasore district. He trounced his closest competitor, BJD's Rabindra Kumar Jena, by a margin of around 13,000 votes. His win was a surprise for many poll observers.
As his opponents canvassed using swanky cars, the leader, who normally uses bicycle for commute, hired an auto-rickshaw to connect with the masses.
This was not the first time Mr Sarangi tried his luck in the general election. In 2014, he had contested from the constituency, but was defeated by Mr Jena.
Before contesting the national election, Mr Sarangi has been a member of Odisha's legislative assembly from 2004 to 2014.
He is a member of BJP's National Executive, the highest governing body of the party.
Mr Sarangi is also known for his social work.
The BJP scored major gains in Odisha, winning 8 out of the 21 seats. The BJD, which had swept the 2014 general elections, was reduced to 12 seats.