During the swearing-in ceremony, BJP leader S S Ahluwalia touched the feet of President Pranab Mukherjee after taking the oath today.
From being a minister in the P V Narasimha Rao Cabinet to a ‘research scholar’ for BJP on various key legislations, Surendrajeet Singh Ahluwalia has links cutting across party lines and is known to speak his mind.
The Patna-based politician is known for taking stand which at times is contrary to the party’s position.
As a minister in the Rao government, he had openly attacked the then Congress chief Sitaram Kesri, also from Bihar, for the way he handled the party affairs.
During a discussion in the Lok Sabha on a bill to amend the Negotiable Instruments Act, he spoke against the measure moved by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.
The BJP did not nominate him to the key Public Accounts Committee of Parliament due to his poor attendance in panel meets.
As chairman of Joint Parliamentary Committee on the contentious land bill, the Asansol-born politician has ensured that the political divide in the panel does not disrupt the proceedings.
After joining BJP, he has often proved to be an asset for the party. When BJP was in opposition, Ahluwalia, who turned 65 yesterday, played a key role as a member of the JPC on 2G scam. Going through heaps of papers, making notes and finding ammunition to target the rival have been his forte.
Even when he was no more an MP, he was tasked to go through the recommendations of the various standing committees and suggest the party leadership what necessary amendment should be brought when key bills come up for discussion in Parliament.
Ahluwalia, who prefers wearing bright-coloured turbans, is fluent in Bengali, Bhojpuri, Hindi, English and of course Punjabi.
A member of the Lok Sabha from Darjeeling, Ahluwalia was previously a Member of Parliament representing Bihar and Jharkhand in the Rajya Sabha in 1986-1992, 1992-1998, 2000–2006, and 2006-2012.
He was also the Deputy Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha till 2012 when he lost his seat from Jharkhand.