New Delhi: Praful Manoharbhai Patel, who steered the high profile Civil Aviation Ministry in the previous government, has been re-entrusted with the task of running the ministry.
In his earlier tenure, credited with heralding open skies for the airline industry and was also instrumental in initiating the merger process between the state-run carriers Air India and Indian Airlines.
His five-year term as Civil Aviation Minister also saw low-cost carriers wean passengers away from railways.
As he takes charge of the Ministry again, Patel will have some urgent issues to look into like achieving the complete merger of the two government-run airlines and also appointing the panel for setting up the Airports Economic Regulatory Authority.
Patel, who is also an industrialist, marked his fourth electoral win by making it to the Lok Sabha in the 2009 General Elections.
He first made it to the lower house in 1991 at the age of 34. He went on to win the next two general elections.
In 2000, he was elected to Rajya Sabha and again elected to the upper house in 2006.
Born to Manoharbhai Patel and Shantaben Patel, he completed Bachelors in Commerce and joined politics at an early age.
Besides politics, Patel is also a sportsperson and has been associated with Western India Football Association, All India Football Association and Maharashtra Olympic Association.
Married to Varsha Patel, he has one son and three daughters.