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Who is Anurag Thakur? 10 things to know about India's new Sports and Youth Affairs Minister

16 days before the Tokyo Olympics, Anurag Thakur has been appointed as Cabinet minister given charge of Sports and Youth Affairs Ministry. Know who is he.

Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports Anurag Thakur

Anurag Thakur 


The Bridge Desk

Updated: 8 July 2021 9:46 AM GMT

In a major cabinet reshuffle of the Indian government, Anurag Thakur was promoted as one of the Cabinet ministers, who has been given charge of Sports and Youth Affairs Ministry, as well as Information and Broadcasting Ministry. Thakur replaces Kiren Rijiju, who was elevated to the position of Cabinet Minister as the Minister of Law and Justice.

"I am honoured to serve the people of India as a Union Cabinet minister and take this opportunity to express my sincere gratitude to Prime Minister Sh @narendramodi ji for entrusting me with this responsibility," Thakur tweeted.

Here are10 things you should know about the newly appointed Sports Minister.

Where does Anurag Thakur hail from?

Anurag Thakur is a member of the Loksabha from the Hamirpur constituency in Himachal Pradesh.

What other ministry will Anurag Thakur be taking charge of?

Along with the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, Anurag Thakur will be taking the charge of Information and Broadcast Minister, just like the former Olympic-medallist shooter turned minister Colonel Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, who served both the position during his tenure.

What was Anurag Thakur's former position in the ministry?

Anurag Thakur served as a Minister of State for Finance and Corporate Affairs between May 2019 and July 2021.

How was he associated with sports administration?

Anurag Thakur was the president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) from May 2015 to February 2017. He was terminated from his position after the Supreme Court ordered him to cease and desist works within BCCI. Thakur also served the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association (HPCA) as its president for four straight terms since 2000.

Did Anurag Thakur play any sports?

Thakur's cricketing journey began at the age of 14 as a player. He had led the Punjab U-16 team that won the Vijay Merchant Trophy. He played a Ranji Trophy match against Jammu & Kashmir in November 2000 when he was the president of HPCA. He has played one match in first-class cricket representing Himachal Pradesh and leading the team as captain in a match against Jammu and Kashmir in the 2000/2001 season. Jammu and Kashmir won by 4 wickets.

How much has he worked on sporting development?

During his stint as the HPCA president, Anurag developed five stadiums in the state, including the picturesque in Dharamsala stadium, and two cricket academies — one in Shimla and the other in Dharamsala. The HPCA is currently providing support to more than 500 players.

Has Anurag Thakur ever been embroiled in controversy?

During the BJPs Citizenship Act rally in January 2020, Thakur was seen leading a crowd with the slogan "Desh ke gaddaron ko, goli maaro saalon ko," a chant inciting listeners to shoot "traitors to the country", with an expletive thrown in. In 2012, the Congress government of Himachal Pradesh had also alleged wrongdoing in the allotment of land to the HPCA for constructing a residential complex for players near the Dharamsala stadium, some 250 km from the state capital.

How old is Anurag Thakur?

At 46, Thakur is one of the youngest Parliamentarians in India today and received the Best Young Parliamentarian Award in 2011.

What will be Anurag Thakur's role ahead of Tokyo Olympics?

Apart from taking care of athletes preparation on a ministerial level, Thakur will also have to ensure that they conform to the strict stipulations regarding vaccination and repeated tests put in place by Japan.

How and when did Anurag Thakur start his political career?

Thakur began his political career in 2008 as he succeeded his father, Prem Kumar Dhumal, as Member of Parliament in 14th Lok Sabha from Hamirpur constituency.

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