Former BCCI chief Anurag Singh Thakur entered the big leagues today after being assigned as a Minister of State in the Finance Ministry in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's cabinet. He was also picked as a Minister of State in the Ministry of Corporate Affairs. He will be working under India's first full time woman Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.
On Thursday, Mr Thakur, 44, was sworn in as a Union Minister at the Rashtrapati Bhavan. He won from the Hamirpur constituency in Himachal Pradesh for the fourth time in the recently-concluded Lok Sabha elections by defeating Ram Lal Thakur of the Congress by nearly four lakh votes, a record margin for the constituency.
At an election rally in Himachal Pradesh earlier this month, recently appointed Home Minister Amit Shah promised to make Anurag Thakur a "big leader" if voters in Hamirpur elected him with a record margin.
"You elect Anurag with a record margin, I will make him a big leader," Mr Shah had urged the voters at an election rally in Bilaspur on May 12. On Thursday, he congratulated Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Twitter:
I take this opportunity to congratulate Sh. @narendramodi Ji & his council of Ministers. Today is a historic day for the people of India 🇮🇳- Anurag Thakur (@ianuragthakur) May 30, 2019
I am humbled and honoured to serve in his Council of Ministers as part of TEAM INDIA 🙏🏼 https://t.co/QqtN6NYcAH
Anurag Thakur was elected as a lawmaker for the first time in a by-election in May 2008. He followed it up with successive victories in the 2009 and 2014 general elections.
He was the president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) from May 2016-February 2017.
The Supreme Court had ordered his ouster as the BCCI president for trying to hinder the implementation of the Lodha committee reforms. He stepped down from his position after the Supreme Court ordered him to discontinue works within the BCCI.
Mr Thakur is the son of former Himachal Pradesh chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal and was the chief whip of the BJP in the Lok Sabha.