After demurring for a day, Ananth Kumar took charge as the Minister of Chemicals and Fertilizers in Prime Minister, Narendra Modi’s cabinet. In his past assignments he has handled various ministries like Tourism, Sports and Youth Affairs, Culture, Urban Development and Poverty Alleviation.
Kumar represents the Bangalore South Lok Sabha constituency in Karnataka where he has been elected six times consecutively. He defeated technocrat Nandan Nilekani Chairman of the Unique Identification Authority of India.
Kumar has been influenced by Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), he was a member of Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad, the students wing of the BJP. During the Emergency, he was imprisoned along with thousands of other student activists. He was elected as the State Secretary of the ABVP and later, became its National Secretary in 1985. He later joined BJP and was nominated as the State President of BJP Yuva Morcha. He was then made National Secretary of the party in 1996. In 1998 he was re elected and was inducted into the Union Cabinet headed by Atal Bihari Vajpayee as the Minister for Civil Aviation. In 1999, he was re-elected to a 3rd Consecutive term and became a cabinet minister in the National Democratic Alliance government.
He became the President of the Karnataka state unit of BJP in 2003 and led the state unit which became the single largest party in the Legislative Assembly and won the highest number of Lok Sabha seats in Karnataka in 2004. In 2004, he was appointed as the National General Secretary of the BJP and has held that post ever since.
Kumar was born on July 22, 1959 in Bangalore, Karnataka to HN Narayan Sastry and Girija. He graduated in faculty of Arts (B.A) from K S Arts College, Hubli affiliated to the Karnataka University and later, completed his bachelors in law (L.L.B) from J.S.S. Law College affiliated to the Mysore University. He married Tejaswini and the couple have two daughters – Aishwarya and Vijeta.
EP News Bureau– Mumbai