Karnataka has been given four places in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Council of Ministers 2.0.
While there were were more than half a dozen names doing the rounds for possible candidates into the Council post the rjig, the four names that have found themselves into the list were relatively unexpected.
While among the leaders dropped from the previous Cabinet is Karnataka’s D V Sadananda Gowda, the caste dent there has been managed by according a ministerial rank to another Vokkaliga leader from the same region of the state, Shobha Karandlaje.
Member of Parliament Shobha Karandlaje is one among the 11 women in the Central Cabinet today. Hailing from coastal Karnataka, she is currently the MP from Udupi-Chikamagalur constituency and has previously been an MLA (2008-2013) and MLC(2004-2008). She was also the sole woman minister in the previous BJP Cabinet in Karnataka and had a successful stint in managing the power and rural development portfolio. A ‘firebrand’ leader, Karandlaje has been a grassroots worker and not known to mince her words on sensitive issues but had been keeping a low profile off-late.
Another low-profile leader among the many other big names that were in the fray is Anekal Narayanaswamy who is the Dalit face of the party and has been a former Minister and a four time MLA from Chitradurga. Like Karandlaje, Narayanaswamy too has been a ground level worker for decades whose proximity to the saffron thought leaders is well known.
Bhagwant Khuba represents the BJP and Lingayat bastion, the Bidar Lok Sabha constituency. He took oath as the Minister of State today. The Lingayats are the largest community in Karnataka and the largest vote bank rallying behind the party in the state, Hailing from the Hyderabad Karnataka region, Khuba’s inclusion is being called an attempt to strengthen the party’s hold in that region.
The fourth inductee is Rajya Sabha Member of Parliament from Karnataka, Rajeev Chandrasekhar who is a well known media baron and entrepreneur. Chandrasekhar is the party’s national spokesperson as well as the BJP co-incharge of Puducherry where the NDA has tasted victory recently.