Venugopal says his appointment not linked to Kerala polls

Written by: Pti
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New Delhi, Jan 20 (PTI) The new minister of state forpower, K C Venugopal, today denied any political motivesbehind his appointment by the Congress led UPA governmentahead of Kerala elections and termed it as a ''routineexercise'',

"I dont think so. This is a routine exercise," Venugopalreplied when asked whether he sees any link of his appointmentto the forthcoming Kerala election, after taking charge asminister.

The induction of Venugopal, a post graduate inMathematics, is seen as a move to woo the influential Naircommunity ahead of the Assembly elections in Kerala duearound May.

The Nair community, to which Venugopal belongs, has beendemanding his induction in the Ministry, according to reports.

After assuming charge, Venugopal, in the presence of hissenior minister Sushil kumar Shinde, said "I will discuss theentire matter with him (Shinde).

"I will seek advice of my senior minister who is seniorin the party and Cabinet," he said adding that poweris a major sector and the entire country, including "our"industry was dependent on it.

He said power generation is a major challenge beforethe government.

Venugopal, a first time Lok Sabha MP from Kerala, isanother young face in the Union government.

With Venugopal becoming a minister, Alapuzha districtnow has three ministers in the Centre, the other two beingDefence Minister A K Antony and Overseas Affairs MinisterVayalar Ravi.

He is a three-time MLA and a former minister, whoresigned from the post of MLA to contest the Lok Sabhaelections in 2009 and won the elections with a huge margin.

Venugopal was a minister looking after temple affairsand tourism in the state for two years.

Initiated into politics in his student days, he rose tobecome the president of the Kerala unit of the NSUI and laterthe chief of Youth Congress.

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