Pratap Chandra Sarangi is an (MoS) Minister of State in the present NDA ruled central Government. His portfolio comprises of Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries and Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises. This out of the league Politician hails from Balasore, Odisha. He also works as a National Executive member of the BJP. He is a bachelor and his unlikely leadership style has made him a famous politician. He lives a very simple life. His thatched house and a bicycle is all the property he has.
Pratap Sarangi was bornon 4 January 1955, in a very poor Brahmin family in Gopinathpur in Nilgiri district of Odisha. He is a graduate from Fakir Mohan College, under Utkal University in 1975. In his youth, he was inclined to become a sanyasi with Ramkrishna Math for spiritual attainment but luckily he was guided by the Math Gurus. They insisted him to go back and serve his widowed mother and others in need. They motivated him to do social service work in his region. He returned to his village and began helping people. As per Reports, Sarangi has opened many schools in tribal areas of Balasore and Mayurbhanj.
A career as Politician
When he entered the political arena in the year 2004,he was madly welcomed by the local people. People started sharing details about his social service stories and calling him a mass leader with the grass-roots approach. His Spiritual mindset again made him contribute towards Dharma. Sarangi had been elected as MLA from the Nilgiri seat in 2004 and 2009 but lost to BJD politician RabindraJena in 2014.Sarangi defeated two high-profile candidates in Balasore during the 2019 General Elections. First were the BJD MP and industrialist Jena with nearly 13000 votes. He also defeated politician Naba jyoti Patnaik, son of Odisha’s Congress Committee president Nirajan Patnaik. Both defeated politicians were among the state’s richest MP candidates. He also became MLA twice, from Nilgiri in 2004 and 2009. In the 2014 Lok Sabha General elections, he contested from Balasore constituency but was defeated. Sarangi is, probably the only member of Parliament as well as a politician who speaks fluent Sanskrit. His immense popularity had voiced people to support him as a CM candidate for the state.
Pratap Sarangi calls himself a soldier who fights on foot. He links his success to his devotion, honesty and simplicity. Locally he is called ‘Nana’ and honoured like an elder brother. Sarangi was president of Bajrang Day for his state. In the ’80s, he had started village schools in the interior parts of regions. The school was having just one local teacher. These single-teacher school swereup to Class III – V was run by the educated youngsters of those villages. The teachers’ salary was being paid collectively by the villagers. His house is consistently crowded with supporters. One will always find this politician cum social worker in a pair of white cotton kurta-pyjamas.
Sarangi’s campaigning style was also very different. His contestants used to travel in a fleet of SUVs and employed professional campaign management agencies. While Sarangi travelled throughout in his constituency in auto-rickshaw and did rally. After his victories too, this politician continues to live in his thatched, mud and bamboo house. The photos of him went viral on social media in which he was seen packing for going to Delhi for the oath-taking ceremony. Pratap Sarangi is said to be in a very close relationship to PM Narendra Modi. whenever Modi visits Odisha, he always meets Sarangi. He is fondly given a name Odisha’s Modi by the netizen.
Pratap Chandra Sarangi had inspired social awareness among his people and followers. He had started many agitations against corruption, social injustice, liquor, and police atrocities. Helped numerous patients in need. Sarangi has a special interest in reading books and articles on the topic related to philosophy, science, world affairs and cultural heritage. In 2012, he was awarded the Best Legislator Award and in 2017 as Odisha Citizen Award.