Published On: Fri, May 31st, 2019

Pratap Sarangi: From spiritual seeker to Union Minister

Bhubaneswar: Once he wanted to be a monk at the Ramakrishna Mission in West Bengal. Now he is winning millions of hearts with his simple lifestyle, a trait very rare among politicians.

The 64-year-old bachelor became an Internet sensation for his simple lifestyle and humble origin

Pratap Chandra Sarangi, the newly elected MP from Odisha’s Balasore, took oath on Thursday as Minister of State (MoS) in the Narendra Modi government. He has been assigned the Ministry of MSME and Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries.

After being elected to Parliament for the first time, the 64-year-old bachelor became an Internet sensation for his simple lifestyle and humble origin.

A photograph of him packing his bags in his thatched house in his village Gopinathpur to go to New Delhi, after being elected to the Lok Sabha, went viral on social media.

The social media was flooded with images of his austere life, riding a bicycle during election campaign, bathing at tubewell and standing in front of his kutcha house.

Many described Sarangi as ‘Odisha’s Modi’ since he lived with his mother, till she died last year.

Fondly called as ‘Nana’, Sarangi would be seen on the roadside waiting for public transport and at railway station. He is a politician who can be reached by common people.

“He is a simple and hardworking person. His victory shows that good people have still chance in politics and they can lead the nation,” said Prakash Nayak from Bhubaneswar.

Bibhu Panda from Balasore said Pratap Nana was a rare politician who has not amassed money.

Sarangi, who campaigned on bicycle and autorickshaw, came out as a giant slayer after he defeated two of the richest candidates in Balasore.

Navajyoti Patnaik, the son of state Congress President Niranjan Patnaik, with assets of over Rs 104 crore, and outgoing BJD MP and industrialist Rabindra Jena, with assets of around Rs 72 crore, were contesting against Sarangi.

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