Kumaraswamy new steel minister, Somanna MoS jal shakti | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Kumaraswamy new steel minister, Somanna MoS jal shakti

By, Bengaluru
Jun 11, 2024 09:08 AM IST

V Somanna has been appointed as the minister of state for jal shakti and railways, surpassing former CMs Basavaraj Bommai and Jagadish Shettar, both senior Lingayat leaders with BJP

Former Karnataka chief minister and Janata Dal (Secular) leader HD Kumaraswamy was appointed as the minister of heavy industries and steel while V Somanna was given the ministry of state for jal shakti and railways by the NDA government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi chairs the first meeting of his new Cabinet, attended by the newly-inducted ministers, at the prime minister's 7, Lok Kalyan Marg residence, in New Delhi, on Monday. (PTI)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi chairs the first meeting of his new Cabinet, attended by the newly-inducted ministers, at the prime minister's 7, Lok Kalyan Marg residence, in New Delhi, on Monday. (PTI)

After the announcement, Kumaraswamy, who had been lobbying for the ministry of agriculture, said: “I am deeply grateful to the Hon’ble Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, for appointing me as the Minister of Steel and Heavy Industries in the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government, in its third consecutive term.”

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V Somanna, the Lingayat representation in the Union council of ministers, has been appointed as the minister of state for jal shakti and railways, surpassing former CMs Basavaraj Bommai and Jagadish Shettar, both senior Lingayat leaders within the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

Following defeats in both constituencies he contested in the assembly election, Somanna had contemplated quitting the BJP and joining the Congress earlier this year

According to party leaders, Somanna’s elevation was due to his closeness to BS Yediyurappa and Union home minister Amit Shah, considering he is a Lingayat leader from South Karnataka though northern parts of the state are considered the heartland of the community.

Recognised as a significant Lingayat leader after BS Yediyurappa, Somanna maintains strong connections with influential religious mutts, notably the Siddaganga mutt in Tumakuru. “The appointment of Somanna as the minister of state for jal shakti is a calculated move. He is from the region in Karnataka, which is the epicentre of the Cauvery water dispute. Besides, the state has several other water disputes ongoing. Hence, his presence in the ministry will be key in the coming days,” said a senior BJP office bearer.

Shobha Karandlaje will serve as the minister of micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSME), labour, and employment. The MP took her oath on Sunday as a minister in the NDA government. Karandlaje, a prominent BJP leader, made history in the Lok Sabha elections 2024 by becoming the first woman MP to represent Bengaluru.

In the previous Union government, she served as the minister of state for agriculture and farmers welfare.

Soon after the announcement, state revenue minister Krishna Byre Gowda congratulated in a post on X saying: “Member of Parliament from Bangalore North Constituency selected as Minister in the Central Government Cabinet. Congratulations to Shobha Karandlaje. I wish her tenure a fruitful one. We look forward to working together for the development of the constituency.”

Meanwhile, BJP veteran Pralhad Joshi has been assigned the portfolios of consumer affairs, food and public distribution, and new and renewable energy. He had served as the minister for coal in the previous government.

Meanwhile, state home minister and senior Congress leader G Parameshwara on Monday took a dig at the NDA government for not inducting any MP from backward classes and Dalit communities from the state into the Union council of ministers.

He said it was evident that these communities have been “neglected” in the government formation exercise. “It looks like they (BJP/NDA) don’t want backward classes and Dalit communities. There are several people from such communities who have been elected in the state from that party,” Parameshwara said.

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