New Delhi: A ministerial berth for Rajya Sabha member Ashwani Kumar is seen as an effort to give more representation to Punjab, which goes to polls next year.
Fifty eight-year-old Kumar, who joins a growing list of lawyer-turned ministers in the UPA-II Cabinet, returns to the Union government after a gap having had a stint in the Congress-led alliance's first term.
Kumar, who is a practicing senior lawyer in the Supreme Court, comes from a family with a political background.
A former Congress national spokesperson, Kumar is son of Prabodh Chandra - a former Speaker of Punjab Assembly.
Born in Delhi, he has written several articles on law, economic reforms, elections, democracy and international affairs.
He is a former Additional Solicitor General of India and was elected to the Rajya Sabha in 2002.
Re-elected to the Rajya Sabha in 2002, Kumar was the Minister of State of Industries in the UPA-I.
An active Parliamentarian, he was member in the Committee on External Affairs and Committee on Public Accounts.