The fielding of Bharatiya Janata Party national spokesperson Sudhanshu Trivedi on former Finance minister Arun Jaitley’s Rajya Sabha seat from Uttar Pradesh, has once again cemented the spokesperson’s position as a stepping stone to bigger successes in the saffron party.
The party has so far had many powerful leaders, including several ministers in the present Cabinet, who started off as spokespersons.
Arun Jaitley: Jaitley became the BJP’s national spokesperson ahead of the 1991 Lok Sabha elections, and the job stamped his position in the party as the most influential minister right from the Atal Bihari Vajpayee to the Narendra Modi era. Without winning a single Lok Sabha election, he helmed important ministries such as Information & Broadcasting and Disinvestment under PM Vajpayee and Finance under PM Modi.
Nirmala Sitharaman: Sitharaman joined the BJP in 2008 and in just 11 years has made it to the national Cabinet, helming important ministries such as Industries and Commerce, Defence and Finance, simply on account of her work as the party’s national spokesperson between 2010 and 2014. She too, like Jaitley, made a back door entry in to Parliament through the Rajya Sabha.
Prakash Jawadekar: Five years after he was made the BJP national spokesperson in 2003,
Jawadekar was sent to the Rajya Sabha from Maharashtra in 2008. In the first Modi government, he served as the Environment Minister, Parliamentary Affairs Minister and Human Resources Development Minister. In its second term, he is the Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change and Minister of Information and Broadcasting.
Smriti Irani: TV actress Irani contested Delhi’s Chandni Chowk Lok Sabha seat on a BJP ticket in 2004 and lost. But her political fortune reversed after she was appointed the party spokesperson during Nitin Gadkari’s tenure as the BJP chief. In 2011, she reached the Rajya Sabha and in 2014 became the Minister of Human Resources Development, Information and Broadcasting, and Textiles. In 2019, she won the Amethi Lok Sabha seat defeating the Congress chief Rahul Gandhi. She is now the Women and Child Development Minister in the Union Cabinet.
Anil Baluni: Considered close to BJP chief Amit Shah, Baluni’s real rise started after he became the party’s national spokesperson in 2014. Three years later, he was made its national media incharge and a year later he was sent to the Rajya Sabha from Uttarakhand.