With Kerala's Alphons Kannanthanam, BJP Aims to Bring Church Closer to NDA

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The ministerial reshuffle in the Central government has sprung a sudden surprise in Kerala politics, with former IAS officer Alphons Kannanthanam inducted as a Minister in the Union Government. It is also notable that the Catholic community which Alphons belongs has a significant number of members in Kottayam district particularly and all over Kerala.Mr Kannanthanam is not a member of either House of the Parliament at present.

Alphons Kannanthanam, popularly known as the Demolition Man of the DDA, has also been inducted into the cabinet.

Apart from the mandate of the Digital India campaign, the ministry of electronics and IT is also leading the digital payments campaign of the government.

PM Modi appointed Mr Alphons, a practicing advocate, past year as the administrator of Chandigarh.

With this appointment, Kannanthanam will complete a journey across the political spectrum that began when he got elected as an independent MLA from Kanjirappally constituency in Kerala with support from the CPI (M)-led LDF in 2006. The promotion of Naqvi, Pradhan, Sitharaman and Goyal, who were all Ministers of State with independent charge, is an endorsement of their good performance, official sources said.

Though many names were doing the rounds as minister probables, no mention was there about Kannamthanam until Saturday evening.

Prabhu, who resigned as Railway Minister following a series of train accidents, has been moved to Minister of Commerce and Industry.

While Shukla (65) is a Rajya Sabha MP from Uttar Pradesh, Choubey (64) has been elected to the Lok Sabha from Buxar in Bihar. Kottayam declared as the first 100 per cent literate town in India in 1989.Alphons Kannanthanam set up Janshakti, an NGO in 1994, to get citizens to believe in their ability to make government accountable to people.He is a Member of the Committee to prepare the final draft of the National Education Policy 2017.

Hegde is a five-time Lok Sabha MP from Uttara Kannada in Karnataka, while Raj Kumar Singh is a first time MP from Arrah in Bihar.

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