Venugopal says his appointment not linked with Kerala polls

"I dont think so. This is a routine exercise," Venugopal replied when asked whether he sees any link between his appointment and the forthcoming Kerala elections.

The induction of Venugopal, a post graduate in Mathematics, is seen as a move to woo the influential Nair community ahead of the Assembly elections in Kerala due around May.

The Nair community, to which Venugopal belongs, has been demanding induction of a member of the community in the ministry especially after the exit of Shashi Tharoor, a Nair, last year.

After assuming charge, Venugopal, in the presence of his senior minister Sushil kumar Shinde, said "I will seek advice of my senior minister, who is senior in the party and Cabinet,"

He said power is a major sector and the entire country, including "our" industry was dependent on it. Power generation is a major challenge before the government.
Venugopal, a first time Lok Sabha MP from Kerala, is another young face in the Union government.

With Venugopal becoming a minister, Alapuzha district now has three ministers in the Centre, the other two being Defence Minister A K Antony and Overseas Affairs Minister Vayalar Ravi.

He is a three-time MLA and a former minister, who resigned from the post of MLA to contest the Lok Sabha elections in 2009 and won the elections with a huge margin.
Venugopal was a minister looking after temple affairs and tourism in the state for two years.

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

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