Pratima Bhowmik 1st permanent resident of Tripura to get union cabinet berth
Two years after she was elected to the Parliament in 2019 on a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) ticket, 52-year old Pratima Bhowmik took oath as a Union minister on Wednesday, becoming the first permanent resident of the small northeastern state to do so.
“A moment of immense pride for #Tripura that Pratima Bhoumik ji, a foremost representative of #NariShakti of the state, has joined PM Shri Narendra Modi ji led Union Council of Ministers,” Tripura chief minister Biplab Kumar Deb wrote on his Facebook and wished Bhowmik success.
A graduate in science, Bhowmik has been with the BJP since 1991.
A year after joining the party, Bhowmik became a member of the BJP state committee and was made chief of the party’s Dhanpur Mandal the subsequent year. Pratima also served as the vice president of the party’s youth and women wing. Later, in 2016, she was made the general secretary of the party. She twice challenged Tripura’s longest serving chief minister Manik Sarkar in assembly polls in 1998 and 2018 but lost.
Later, she defeated the then sitting MP Shankar Prasad Datta in 2019 Lok Sabha polls by a huge margin of 305,689 votes.
Born of a school teacher father, Pratima has three siblings. In her earlier days, Pratima used to play Kho-kho and Kabaddi at block, district and state-level events. She also used to practise farming in her native place at Baranarayan in Sonamura.
Prior to her, Dr Triguna Sen from West Bengal represented Tripura in the Rajya Sabha and became education and petroleum minister in former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi’s cabinet.
Santosh Mohan Dev, a resident of Assam, contested the Lok Sabha polls in 1989 from West Tripura constituency and became a minister in former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi’s cabinet.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday inducted 36 new faces into his council of ministers, promoted seven junior ministers, and dropped 12 ministers in his biggest reshuffle since the beginning of his first term in 2014.