Kiren Rijiju has been appointed as India’s new Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports. He replaces 2004 Athens Olympic medalist Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore in the post.
Rijiju, who’s considered the face of BJP in the north-east, served as the Minister of State for Home Affairs in the first Narendra Modi government. He was re-elected from the Arunachal West Lok Sabha constituency in the recently-concluded elections.
Rathore who too earned a second consecutive term from his Jaipur Rural constituency wasn’t part of the ministers who took oath on Thursday and thus seems set to be without a portfolio in the new government for now.
Rijiju, who has a degree in Law from Delhi University, comes with a small sporting background having participated in the National Games during his college days. He was named the best athlete in his school and college according to a 2009 report in Eastern Panaroma.
In 2015, Rijiju was designated as the Disaster Risk Champion for the Asia-Pacific Region for his work in the area by the UN, thus becoming the first Indian to be conferred with the honour.