Ananth Kumar: The people's leader eyeing for a double hat-trick

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Ananth Kumar, the MP from Bangalore South constituency in Karnataka, is eyeing for his double hat-trick in the ongoing Lok Sabha election. The 55-year-old leader, one of the BJP's prominent faces nationally, will take on Congress's Nandan Nilekani on April 17.

Ananth learned about values and righteousness at a tender age:

The MP, who has never lost a parliamentary election since 1996, was born in a middle-class family in Bangalore on July 22, 1959. His father Narayan Shastri was a railway employee and mother Girija Shastri, a graduate, was known to be a crusader against social justice. Both his parents were firm believers in values and righteousness, something which Ananth had imbibed in his childhood days.

Ananth Kumar is an ardent follower of the teachings of Bhgwad Gita and makes it a point to read the holy book, at least a few couplets, before he begins his work. It acts like a "pep pill", Ananth feels.

Famous engineer Sir M Vishveshvarayya and astrologer B V Raman are known to be close relatives of Ananth Kumar's family.

Ananth Kumar got married to Tejaswani in February 1989 and the couple has two daughters, Aishwarya and Vijetha.

An ABVP leader who fast rose to prominence:

Ananth Kumar did his BA from KS Arts College at Hubli and then did his LLB from JSS Law College in Mysore. A strong believer in nationalist values, he joined the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) to begin his public life. Soon, he emerged as an important student's union leader in Karnataka.

The politician who never looked back:

Ananth Kumar, then a teenager activist, took part in the demonstration against the Emergency which was declared by the Indira Gandhi government in 1975 and subsequently rose to prominence. He served in various posts of the ABVP in the mid-1980s and in 1987, he walked into the BJP. Between 1988 and 1995, Ananth Kumar was the general secretary of the BJP in Karnataka and in 1995, he was made the national secretary of the party.

In 1996, after he won his first parliamentary election, Ananth Kumar became member of various committees under ministry of railways and industry and after he won subsequent terms in 1998 and 1999, Ananth Kumar was made a cabinet minister in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government.

Between 1998 and 2003, he served in ministries like civil aviation, tourism (additional), culture, youth affairs and sports and urban development & poverty alleviation with additional charge of rural development . It was during his tenure as the civil aviation minister when Ananth had signed a memorandum of Understanding for the KIAL (Kempegowda International Airport Limited).

In 2003, Ananth Kumar was made the president of the Karnataka BJP and in 2004, the BJP did very good in both the assembly and parliamentary elections from the state. Ananth himself also won his fourth consecutive term even as the NDA lost power at the Centre. Between 2004 and 2007, Ananth Kumar served as the chairman of the committee on Coal and Steel and member of the General Purposes Committee.

On November 1, 2004, Ananth Kumar was made the national general secretary of the BJP and he is continuing in that post ever since. He served as the member of various committees in the 15th Lok Sabha.

A people's leader:

1. Took initiative of the Namma Bengaluru Metro only after Delhi Metro to solve the traffic congestion in Bengaluru. He also proposed a suburban rail system for Bengalore. He has also worked for increasing Bangalore's connectivity to various places in the country by railways.

2. As a member of the National infrastructure Task Force, Ananth Kumar ensured that Bengalore is included in the Golden Quadrilateral highway project, one of the top projects of the NDA government.

3. As the civil aviation minister, Ananth Kumar worked towards the facelift of the existing HAL airport along with aero-bridges and international connectivity. He also worked on a perishable cargo handling facility to increase exports of flowers, fruits and perishable commodities. He signed a Memorandum of Understanding to set up the new airport, Kempegowda International Airport.

4. Ananth Kumar brought the Cauvery 4th phase to Bangalore, adding 500 MLD to the existing water supply of 900 MLD.

5. The leader began construction work for houses and community toilets for the urban poor under Valmik Ambedkar Awas Yojana (VAMBAY). Over 33,000 in Karnataka have been built under the scheme, with 10,000 houses in Bangalore. The highlight of this project is that VAMBAY houses are registered in the name of the woman of the family

6. He has taken a strong step to ensure nutritious and hygienic midday meals daily to over 72,000 children of Bangalore since 2003.

7. He represented India at UN General Assembly in 2012. He received praises on various issues including global warming, carbon credit women empowerment, plight of small and locked countries among others. He is the first person to address the UN General Assembly in Kannada.

8. Ananth Kumar set up unique eKshema healthcare Kiosks, a first of its kind initiative in India.

9. He created detailed guidelines for setting up Solid Waste Management Authority.

10. Ananth Kumar has funded infrastructure development at Abalashrama and constructed short-stay homes for women through his MPLAD fund.

11. Ananth Kumar is the chief patron of Adamya Chetana, Smt. Girija Shastry Memorial Trust, which has successfully undertaken two projects, namely, Annapoorna - to provide nutritious mid-day meal to 2,00,000 under privileged, needy school children with government support, Bangalore, Hubli, Gulbarga and Jodhpur, Rajasthan and Aata-Paatha - a mobile unit, equipped with educational gadgets like computers, sports equipments, costumes for drama, teaching aids, books, drawing and painting materials, audio visual equipments which visits schools situated in slums of Bengalore to make teaching and learning a fun experience.

Special interests:

Reading, writing, poetry and travelling


Cricket, badminton, table tennis and chess

Double hat-trick not far

Ananth Kumar is a politician who is loved by all in his constituency from where he is being elected for 18 years now. This time, Bangalore South, a high-profile constituency in the country is set to witness a multi-front fight but Ananth Kumar looks favourite to complete his mission for a double-hat-trick with a bang.

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