Arjun Ram Meghwal is a former Indian bureaucrat, politician, and member of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). On 3 September 2017, he was appointed as the Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs, Government of India. He has served as Minister of State for Heavy Industries & Public Enterprises (2019-2021), Minister of State for Finance & Corporate Affairs (2016-2017), and Minister of State for Water Resources (2016-2017), Government of India. He became the Minister of State (Independent charge) of Law & Justice, replacing Kiren Rijiju on 18 May 2023.
Arjun Ram Meghwal was born Sunday, 20 December 1953 (age 69 years; as of 2022) in Kismidesar Village, Bikaner, Rajasthan, India. His zodiac sign is Sagittarius. He pursued his primary schooling at the government school of his village. He received his secondary education from the Jawahar Jain Secondary School, Bhinasar. He got married to Pana Devi when he was in Class 8. He continued his studies after marriage and obtained a BA and LLB from Government Dungar College in Bikaner. He pursued his LLB while working as a telephone operator. Then, he pursued MA in Political Science from the same college. Later, he pursued a Master in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Philippines in the Philippines. NDTV After completing his formal education, he started preparing for competitive examinations. He cleared the Rajasthan Administrative Services (RAS) examinations in 1982 and served in various capacities in the state service, before being promoted as an Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer in 1999.
Height (approx.): 5′ 9″
Hair Colour: Salt & Pepper
Eye Colour: Black
Family & Caste
He was born in a Scheduled Caste (Dalit) family belonging to the weaving community. The Indian Express
Parents & Siblings
His father’s name is Lakhu Ram Meghwal, and his mother’s name is Heera Devi Meghwal; she died in 2014. They were weavers by profession.
Wife & Children
On 12 May 1968, he got married to Pana Devi in the village of Nal Badi, while he was in Class 8. Together, they have two sons, Ravi Shekhar Meghwal and Naveen Meghwal, and two daughters. Ravi Shekhar Meghwal was a Rajasthan administrative services (RAS) officer who later became a politician and member of the BJP. Naveen Meghwal works as the Director at ICCR in Bali.
His cousin Madan Gopal Meghwal is also a politician from Indian National Congress (INC). Madan Gopal Meghwal is the son of Arjun Ram Meghwal’s maternal aunt (Mausi).
He follows Hinduism.
His permanent adress is ‘Sansad Sewa Kendra’ C- 66, K K Colony, Joiya Market, Bikaner, Rajasthan.
While preparing for competitive examinations, he started working as a telephone operator in the Indian Post and Telegraph Department. He also fought and won the elections for the post of General Secretary of Telephone Traffic. While working as a telephone operator, he started preparing for competitive exams to secure a government job. In spite of clearing the written examination on the first attempt, he failed to clear the interview round for Rajasthan Administrative Services (RAS), but he did not give up. In 1982, he cleared the RAS examination on his second attempt. In 1994, he was recruited as the Officer on Special Duty (OSD) to Hari Shankar Bhabhra, then Deputy Chief Minister of Rajasthan. He became the State President of Rajasthan Udhyog Seva Parishad in the same year. After his appointment as Additional Collector (Development) in Barmer, he won the election of General Secretary for Dr Ambedkar Memorial Welfare Society, Rajasthan. He served various ranks in the state service before being promoted to IAS officer in 1999. As an IAS officer, he served in various capacities in the Rajasthan Cadre including the District Magistrate (Collector) of Churu, Rajasthan. Ahead of the 2009 Lok Sabha polls, Meghwal took voluntary retirement from the Indian Administrative Services to venture into politics as a member of the BJP.
In 2009, he contested and won the Bikaner Lok Sabha seat, defeating the INC candidate Rewat Ram Panwar by 19,575 votes. Thereafter, he became a Member of Consultative Committee, External Affairs and Member of National Core Committee, Scheduled Castes Morcha BJP From 31 August 2009 to 20 June 2010, he served as a Member of Standing Committee on Defence. In 2010, he was appointed as Vice-President of BJP Rajasthan. In the same years, he also became Member of National Executive, BJP. Other positions that he served include Member of Standing Committee on Science and Technology, Environment and Forest (21 June 2010 – 31 August 2011), Member of Standing Committee on Personnel, Public Grievances, Law and Justice (31 August 2011), Convenor of Anuvrat Parliamentarian Forum (2011 onwards), Member of Zonal Railway User`s Consultative Committee (ZRUCC) (01 December 2011), Member of Committee on the Welfare of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (1 May 2012), and Member of Committee on Absence of Member from the Sitting of the House (21 April 2013).
In 2014, he contested and won the Bikaner Lok Sabha seat, defeating INC candidate Shankar Pannu by 3,08,079 votes. On 12 July 2014, he became the Chief Whip, Lok Sabha (BJP). He served in various capacities during the First Modi ministry including Member of Business Advisory Committee (13 June 2014 – 5 July 2016) and Member of Standing Committee on Railways (1 September 2014 to 5 July 2016). From 15 September 2014 to 5 July 2016, he served as the Member of Committee on Ethics, Member of Consultative Committee, Ministry of External Affairs and Overseas Indian Affairs, and Executive Member of Indian Parliamentary Group. He served as Chairperson of House Committee from 28 November 2014 to 5 July 2016 and Member of Joint Committee on Offices of Profit from 11 December 2014 to 5 July 2016. From 29 January 2015 to 5 July 2016, he served as the Member of General Purposes Committee, Member of Governing Council of SSA, and Member of National Khadi and Village Industries Board. Other positions that he held are Member of Committee on Estimates (1 May 2015 – 5 July 2016) and Member of Sub-Committee-III, Committee on Estimates (3 July 2015). In 2016, Meghwal was inducted into Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Council of Ministers after which he served as Minister of State for Finance & Corporate Affairs (5 July 2016 – 3 September 2017), Minister of State for Water Resources, River Development, and Ganga Rejuvenation (5 July 2016 – 3 September 2017), and Minister of state for Parliamentary Affairs (3 September 2017).
In 2019, he was re-elected from the Bikaner parliamentary seat, securing over 6.5 lakh votes and defeating his cousin Madan Gopal Meghwal of the Congress. From 30 May 2019 to 7 July 2021, he served as Minister of State for Heavy Industries & Public Enterprises in the Second Modi Ministry. On 18 May 2023, he assumed the position of Minister of State (Independent charge) of Law & Justice.
Claiming “Bhabhi Ji” Papad Can Keep COVID-19 at Bay
In July 2020, amid the Covid-19 pandemic, Meghwal was slammed for promoting unscientific claims that “Bhabhi Ji” Papad could help create antibodies needed to fight Covid-19. Just two weeks after his statement, Meghwal had himself tested positive for Covid. The Wire
Awards, Honours, Achievements
He was awarded the Best Parliamentarian Award by the UPA government in 2013.
Assets & Properties
- Cash: Rs. 75,000
- Deposits in Banks: Rs. 1,03,57,629
- Jewellery: Rs. 2,15,000
- Non-Agricultural Land: Rs. 5,00,000
- Residential Buildings: Rs. 4,00,000
Note: The given estimates of movable and immovable assets are according to the financial year 2018-2019. It does not include assets owned by his wife and dependents. My Neta
His net worth in 2019 was Rs. 1,04,87,315. It does not include the net worth of his wife and dependents. My Neta
- Born into a family of traditional weavers, Meghwal grew up weaving with his father. In an interview, he said,
I was born in a traditional weaver family of Kismidesar village (Bikaner), where any student of my age hardly goes to school. During my school and college days I used to weave to support my family and my education.”
- From 2011 to 2014, he served as the co-chairman of the Committee on the Reservation in Judiciary under the National Commission for SC.
- As the BJP’s Chief Whip in the Lok Sabha in 2014, Meghwal used to cycle to Parliament in his trademark Rajasthani turban, kurta-pyjama and a sleeveless jacket to flaunt his Bikaneri identity. A banner on his cycle, with the BJP’s colours in the background, would proclaim that he was the MP from Bikaner.
- In 2013, he raised an anti-homosexuality bill in the Lok Sabha.
- Ahead of the 2014 elections, Meghwal made headlines for taking on Congress leader Sonia Gandhi’s son-in-law Robert Vadra’s allegedly “illegal” land deals in Bikaner.
- His appointment in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Council of Ministers in 2016 was seen as an attempt on the BJP’s part to balance the caste equations in Rajasthan as the party had dropped Nihal Chand Meghwal, the Ganganagar MP and MoS in the Ministry of Panchayati Raj. Nihal Chand Meghwal was also from the SC community and was dropped by the party as he was facing a probe relating to a 2011 rape case.
- Ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, seven-time MLA Devi Singh Bhati resigned from the BJP and campaigned against Meghwal claiming that Meghwal was working against the BJP and dividing people along caste lines. Meghwal also faced competition from within the family ahead of the elections as the Congress fielded his cousin Madan Gopal Meghwal, an IPS officer who also took voluntary retirement to venture into politics.
- As MoS, Ministry of Culture, Meghwal strongly pitched for the declaration of the Mangarh hillock in Rajasthan as a monument of national importance. At Mangarh hillock, 1,500 Bhil tribal freedom fighters were martyred during a clash with the British army on 17 November 1913.
- Apart from being a politician, the MP is also known for being a singer who occasionally sings spiritual bhajans. He also sang on the 100th episode of PM Modi’s Mann ki Baat.