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Pratap Chandra Sarangi is a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) politician from Balasore, Odisha, and serves as a National Executive member of the party. He is a Member of Parliament and former Union Minister of State for Animal Husbandry in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s cabinet.
He is one of the prominent figures in the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). Sarangi served as a district-level volunteer of the RSS and also worked for the Vishwa Hindu Parishad and Bajrang Dal.
He played a crucial role in promoting Ekal Vidyalaya schools in Odisha. Ekal is accused of promoting hate against Muslims and Christians and indoctrinating students in remote villages inhabited by tribal people. A 2005 report compiled by the Union Human Resource Development Ministry found that Ekal schools run by the Friends of Tribals Society were Hinduising the primary school curriculum and “creating disharmony amongst religious groups and creating a political cadre.” The same year, the government stopped giving funds/grants to Ekal-run schools.
In 1999, Sarangi was the State convener of the Bajrang Dal, the militant youth wing of VHP, which was accused of leading a Hindu mob that burnt the Australian missionary Graham Staines and his two children alive. While prime accused Dara Singh, a member of the Bajrang Dal, and his aide Mahendra Hembram are serving life sentences, Sarangi was never even questioned in the case.
A 2003 report in Frontline says that a commission appointed by the central government had not even examined the role of the Bajrang Dal because it was not an illegal organization, suggesting that legal organizations could not plan or carry out such heinous crimes.
Sarangi, who has also been a part of the VHP, was also involved in an attack on the Odisha Assembly in 2002. He was arrested along with 66 others on charges of arson, rioting, and damage to government property
According to his election affidavit, Sarangi has ten criminal cases against him, even though he has never been convicted in any of them.