New Delhi: BJP MP Hansraj Gangaram Ahir got his birthday gift two days earlier with his induction in the Narendra Modi ministry on Sunday in apparent recognition of his role in relentlessly highlighting irregularities in coal allocation that brought the previous UPA regime to its knees.
The Lok Sabha MP hailing from Chandrapur in Maharashtra is credited along with Environment minister Prakash Javadekar in unearthing the coal scam which was a major campaign issue for the BJP in its march to power. The scam also led to Supreme Court ultimately cancelling licenses of 214 coal blocks.
The issue of faulty allocation of coal blocks was first brought to the notice of Parliamentary Committee on Coal and Steel and later to the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) by Ahir after which a CBI enquiry was ordered into the alleged scam.
Later, Javadekar joined Ahir amid a perception that the matter was a "ticking time bomb" for the Congress-led UPA.
After being a member of the Maharashtra Legislative Council from 1994-96, Ahir for the first time got elected in the 11th Lok Sabha in 1996.
In the 14th Lok Sabha, Speaker Somnath Chatterjee had hailed Ahir as a "role-model" for MP's.
Prime Point Foundation (PPF) has rated him as the best parliamentarian for introduction of 24 private bills out of a total of 288 bills that were introduced as far as the 15th Lok Sabha was concerned.
He has also been a member of many Standing Committees and Parliamentary Committees. From September 1, 2014 onwards, he has been the chairperson of the standing committee on Coal and Steel.
Ahir was born on Nov 11, 1954 in Nanded, Maharashtra and has two sons and a daughter and is an agriculturist by profession.