Actor-politician Pawan Kalyan took charge as Andhra Pradesh deputy chief minister in Vijaywada on Wednesday. Pawan Kalyan took charge at a ceremony accompanied by Vedic chants.

Pawan Kalyan will also be handling the Panchayat Raj and Rural Development; Rural Water Supply; Environment and Forests; and Science and Technology portfolios. (ANI/File)

Several Janasena leaders and others congratulated Pawan Kalyan on assuming office. Later, the deputy chief minister is expected to meet senior officials for review meetings. Pawan Kalyan represents the Pithapuram assembly constituency in the southern state and is a first-time minister.

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The Janasena Party chief will also handle the panchayat raj and rural development, rural water supply, environment and forests, and science and technology portfolios.

Andhra Pradesh chief minister Chandrababu Naidu assigned him these departments earlier this week.

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Pawan Kalyan defeated his rival YSR Congress Party’s Vanga Geetha from the Pithapuram assembly seat in the recently concluded state polls.Pawan  Kalyan won the contest with a margin of over 70,000 votes. The Andhra Pradesh assembly elections were held on May 13 and the results were announced on June 4.

In the assembly and Lok Sabha elections, the Janasena Party had a 100 per cent strike rate winning all 21 assembly seats and two Lok Sabha seats it contested on.

The TDP, Janasena Party and BJP were part of the NDA in the elections, with three parties bagging 164 seats out of the total 175. The TDP won 135 seats, while the BJP 8.

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Earlier, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had earlier praised Pawan Kalyan terming him a “storm” on June 7. “And what you see, Pawan, he is not a breeze; he is a storm,” Modi has said.

Pawan Kalyan was hesitant to join the cabinet owing to his busy acting schedule. However, “He decided to join the cabinet, as it would give him some sense of responsibility in fulfilling the election promises,” a Janasena leader earlier told HT.

Pawan Kalyan founded the Janasena Party in March 2014 but did not choose to contest in the elections that year.

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