Bhagwanth Khuba has been picked as the new Union Minister of State for New & Renewable Energy, and Chemicals & Fertilisers. The 54-year-old is a two-time MP from Bidar constituency in the Kalyana Karnataka (formerly known as Hyderabad-Karnataka) region.
His rise in politics began as his influence in the area, which was traditionally a stronghold of the Congress, grew steadily after he was fielded as BJP candidate in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls.
As a debutant, Khuba wrested the seat from former Karnataka chief minister N Dharam Singh. His victory, also fuelled by the nationwide BJP-favouring wave, was widely noted as he won the polls by a majority of 92,222 votes. In 2019, Khuba raised the lead to 1,16,834 when he defeated another strong candidate and former Congress minister Eshwar Khandre, the working president of the party.
A loyal worker of the saffron party in the region, Khuba’s push for Sharanu Salagar as BJP candidate for the recently held bypolls in Basavakalyan assembly segment in Bidar district had faced dissent from a faction of the local cadre. However, Salagar emerged victorious silencing his critics as the leader began gaining support.
A graduate in mechanical engineering from Sree Siddaganga Institute of Technology in Tumakuru, Khuba had furthered his family’s interest in road and railway contracts apart from being an agriculturist before entering mainstream politics. Khuba belongs to the Banajiga sect of the dominant Lingayat community in the state.
After his re-election to the 17th Lok Sabha in 2019, Khuba has been serving as a member of the Standing Committee on Agriculture and the Consultative Committee of the Ministry of Railways.