Minister ‘on sex CD’ a rising star in Chhattisgarh BJP
RAIPUR: The 54-year-old minister at the centre of a sex scandal is a BJP heavyweight, who particularly gained prominence in the last eight years of the party’s 14-year rule in Chhattisgarh.
Rajesh Munat, who handles PWD and environment portfolios, rose up the ranks as a Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha leader. He shot into political limelight after defeating veteran Congress leader Tarun Chatterjee in the state’s maiden elections in 2003 from Raipur West constituency.
He was promptly rewarded with a minister-of-state berth in Chhattisgarh’s first BJP government, headed by Raman Singh. After his second victory from Raipur West in 2008, he became a cabinet minister and this is when his real rise began.
Smartly negotiating intra-party squabbles, he gradually overshadowed more senior ministers. In the 2013 elections, he retained both Raipur West (with an impressive margin) and his berth in the Raman Singh ministry.
Born in Ratlam district of undivided Madhya Pradesh, Munat has lived in Raipur since early childhood. He is married and has three children.
BJP insiders say Munat is considered close to CM Raman Singh and his rising clout is a matter of concern for some veterans. He is also minister in-charge of Rajnandgaon, the district where the chief minister and his son Abhishek Singh’s constituencies lie.
After the sex clip controversy, Munat said: “I have completed 32 years in politics. I never thought that there will be such degeneration of politics and people will stoop so low for character assassination.”
AAP workers blackening the name plate of PWD minister Rajesh Munat at his official residence at Civil Lines in Raipur on Friday. Credit: Rajkumar Chaturvedi.