Bengaluru startups bat for Kharge as IT/BT minister

Bengaluru startups bat for Kharge as IT/BT minister

Priyank Kharge. DH Photo

The startups in the city have batted for the former IT/BT minister Priyank Kharge to continue with the same portfolio under the HD Kumaraswamy-led coalition government.

DH has learnt that a consortium of over 750 startups, under the umbrella of The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE) - Bengaluru, have written a letter to Kumaraswamy urging him to make Kharge as the minister for IT/BT. Kharge had held the portfolio in the Congress government led by former chief minister Siddaramaiah.

"Overall, industry leaders and the startup ecosystem view him very favourably. We feel that state and industry will benefit greatly from Kharge being offered an opportunity to continue leading the IT/BT agenda for Karnataka. We humbly request you  to consider our sincere request," the letter written to Kumaraswamy said. DH has accessed the letter.

In this letter, TiE has made a mention of the major policy initiatives taken by Kharge during his tenure which includes, Elevate 100, India's largest state-sponsored incubation programme, establishment of AI and big data analytics Centres of Excellence (CoEs) to bridge the knowledge gaps and organising Bengaluru Tech Summit which aims to bring industrialists, investors, technologists and other stakeholders under one roof.

Kharge was re-elected from Chiitapur constituency in Kalaburagi district in North Karnataka by a margin of 4,393 votes.

While 22 MLAs from the Congress and 11 from JDS are expected to be a part of Kumaraswamy cabinet, and due to the trade-off, between the two parties, the MLAs and who will take what is still undecided.

According to sources in the IT industry, Kharge is well aware of latest technology trends happening globally. "He has made formidable efforts to make Bengaluru the capital of India's AI, ML, deep learning and IoT research capital. For this he made grand alliance of all big companies and produced positive results," said a Nasscom official.