Venugopal, the brand new Minister and another young face

New Delhi, Jan 19 (PTI) K C Venugopal, a first time LokSabha MP from Kerala, is the only brand new minister to jointhe Manmohan ministry and another young face in the Uniongovernment.

Making a ministerial debut at the Centre , the47-year-old MP from Alapuzha has got "power" quicklygetting the Minister of State slot in the Power ministry.

Beni Prasad Verma and Ashwani Kumar, the new ministersin UPA after today''s minior expansion and reshuffle who weresworn in along with Venugopal, have been Union ministersearlier.

An avid sports fan and a university-level volleyballplayer, Venugopal comes in following the exit of ShashiTharoor from the ministry following the IPL controversy.

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

Interestingly, Venugopal who hails from Kannur districtin northern Kerala has won the Lok Sabha elections from adistrict in southern part of the state.

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 former minister, who resignedfrom the post of MLA to contest the Lok Sabha elections in2009 and won the elections with a huge margin. He was aminister looking after temple affairs and tourism in the statefor 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.

The hurly-burly of politics did not take awayVenugopal''s love for sports and even during his stint instudent politics, he was selected in the University team. PTISJY SMI SCY GSN

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