Kiren Rijiju is a Minister of State for Home Affairs in the Narendra Modi Cabinet. The 47-year-old Member of Parliament from Arunachal Pradesh is serving his second term as a legislator in the Lok Sabha.
Rjiju's father was the pro-tem speaker who administered oath to the MLAs of the first Arunachal Pradesh Legislatively Assembly. He served as a Member of Khadi and Village Industries Commission from 2000 to 2005.
Rijiju was elected to the 14th Lok Sabha in 2004 on a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) ticket and was a member of the Standing Committee on Energy during the term. He lost the Arunachal West seat in the 2009 Lok Sabha elections in a contest that was controversial for poll-related violence and reports of rigging. Rijiju wrested back the seat in the 2014 elections, defeating Takam Sanjoy of the Indian National Congress by a margin of 43,738 votes.
Rijiju's comments have on several occasions kicked up controversies. During the 2017 Rohingya refugee crisis, he said Rohingyas were illegal immigrants and stood to be deported. He also said India had absorbed the highest number of refugees in the world so nobody should give India any lessons on how to deal with refugees.
He was designated by the United Nations as Disaster Risk Champion for Asia Pacific Region for his work in the area of Disaster Management.
Rijiju is considered an important face of the BJP in the Northeast. Even as the saffron party tries to undo damage that the Citizenship Amendment Bill might have done to its electoral prospects in the states, it will also have to put to use its political capital and goodwill. In the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, too, Rijiju will fight from the Arunachal West constituency.