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A RSS man Arun Chaturvedi, 54, was once at loggerheads with Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje. But having realized Raje’s importance and clout in the party, Chaturvedi thought of mending fences with her and rightly so was awarded with a Cabinet slot and important portfolios.
He was also given the posh, prestigious and important seat of Civil Lines in Jaipur and fought against young and popular Congress leader Pratap Kachariyawas in the 2013 Assembly elections.
Kachwariyas, who has been a student leader, has always been there for his voters, have stood by them in crisis and led many a protests. So Chaturvedi had a tough fight against him but won the seat back for BJP with a convincing margin of over 77, 600 votes.
Decent and amiable with good administrative skills, Chaturvedi has always remained behind the scenes, working for the party. This was his first time foray with the voters who has not seen his mass contact skills. Nevertheless he managed to wrest the seat back for the BJP.
A 1981 BCom from Rajasthan University, Jaipur, he cleared M.Com from the same university. He cleared his LLB from Rajasthan University in 1985 and PhD from in 1992
Dr Arun Chaturvedi is an advocate and has good legal sense. An active member of RSS, he came into politics through BJP’s student wing ABVP in 1974 and was vice-president of the Bharatiya Yuva Morcha from 1988 till 1998. His wife is also a lecturer in a government college.
RSS had earlier opposed Raje, criticizing her for her autocratic style of functioning . So when she lost the 2008 Assembly elections, Raje bashers including BJP veteran Lalit Kishore Chaturvedi backed Chaturvedi for the post of party president.
Soft-spoken Arun Chaturvedi took over the reins of BJP in 2009 as president. But was unceremoniously removed in February 2013 when Raje took over as its president and was projected as the chief ministerial candidate of the state before the Assembly elections of 2013. May be he had heart burn but never displayed it.
Having kept up his party work despite setback, Chaturvedi earned the confidence of Raje. A first time MLA, he was initially inducted as minister of state but later elevated to the rank of Cabinet minister in Oct 2014. Since then he has become one of the most powerful ministers in Rajasthan.
Raje has entrusted him to solve the Meena-Mina controversy which is dogging the Rajasthan government. Chaturvedi who is handling the issue has clarified the withdrawal of the circular and the order of 2014 that the Meena leaders have been protesting against to settle the Meena-Mina dispute.
He has said the government would also stick to its stand taken before the Rajasthan High Court’s principal bench at Jodhpur that ‘Meena’ and ‘Mina’ were surnames of the same community, which was entitled to reservation benefits.
In 2014, the state government had issued a circular on September 30, followed by an order on December 23 to ban the change of spelling from ‘Meena’ to ‘Mina’ that had led to denial of Scheduled Tribe (ST) certificates to people having Meena surname.
As per the government of India notifications, it is the ‘Mina’ community (not Meena) which belongs to the ST category, which enjoys reservation in government jobs, educational institutes and elections.
“The government is committed to withdrawing the circular of September 30, 2014, and the order of December 23, 2014, to settle the Meena-Mina row,” minister Chaturvedi has said.