Tribal Area development minister Nand Lal Meena hails from Pratapgarh district in Mewar region.
A veteran in politics, he is 69 and has a BA and law degree. He was the BJP MP for Salumbar in 1989. He has a LLB from Maharana Bhupal Law College Udaipur, Sukhadiya University Udaipur, which he cleared in 1978, has a BA from Shramjivi College Udaipur, Rajasthan University Jaipur in 1973-75. He had his schooling from Rajasthan Higher Secondary School Pratapgarh in 1962.
He has major influence over the tribal regions of Rajasthan and is considered a tall leader in the Meena community.
But Nand Lal Meena’s casteist remarks against two major communities Brahmins and Baniyas, soon after he assumed charge in 2014 had created a furore. Three court complaints have been filed against Meena, which said his remarks created hatred amongst communities.
In a function at Karauli during the state government’s flagship programme of Sarkar Aapke Dwaar, Meena had said that Brahmins and Banias were responsible for backwardness of the Meena, a Scheduled tribe.
In a controversial statement, he claimed that in earlier era during the rule of rajas and maharajas, Meenas were the ruling class but over a period of time, they have been reduced to the status of “adivasi” (scheduled tribe). His remark infuriated several organisations of Brahmins and Banias, who sought his resignation and burnt his effigies at various places across the state.
Akhil Bhartiya Vaishya Mahasammelan, the national outfit of the Vaishya (Baniya) community, staged statewide protests against the minister. A similar protest organised by Sarva Brahman Mahasabha threatened an intensive agitation against the minister.
Nand Lal Meena has been in the news over the recent Meena-Mina controversy and had demanded a review of the Scheduled Tribe communities. He said some ST communities in eastern Rajasthan ( Bharatpur division) were unjustifiably eating away the share of backward communities from southern Rajasthan (Udaipur division).
He entered into a spat over the social justice and empowerment minister Arun Chaturvedi who said that for the state government Meena and Mina represented the same community.
Nand Lal Meena said : “Who is Arun Chaturvedi to decide that? Is he the father of Meena/Mina?” while responding to media queries on the issue. The minister also accused former minister and NPP MLA Kirori Lal Meena as well as the Congress leaders of playing politics on the Meena-Mina controversy.