Suresh Gopi, George Kurian get a handful of Minister of State duties in NDA govt

BJP MP Suresh Gopi greets Prime Minister Narendra Modi as party leaders Rajnath Singh and Amit Shah look on, at the swearing-in ceremony of the new Union government at Rashtrapati Bhavan, in New Delhi on June 9, 2024. Photo: PTI

BJP making history by opening its Lok Sabha account in Kerala hasn't resulted in the state getting a cabinet minister. However, a handful of Minister of State portfolios have been offered to Kerala in the third term of Narendra Modi as Prime Minister.

Suresh Gopi, who scripted an unprecedented win for the NDA from the Thrissur constituency, has been made the Minister of State in the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas and the Ministry of Tourism.

BJP leader George Kurian, who received a surprise call to the oath-taking ceremony at the Rashtrapati Bhavan on Sunday, has also been given multiple responsibilities.

George Kurian (left) with Prime Minister Narendra Modi during a BJP event in Kerala. File photo: Manorama

Kurian will be the Minister of State in the Ministry of Minority Affairs and Minister of State in the Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying.

Actor-politician Gopi, who was expected to be given a cabinet rank, had claimed that he wanted to be relieved of ministership because of his commitments with the movie industry.
Gopi will be reporting to Hardeep Singh Puri and Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, the Ministers of Petroleum & Natural Gas and Tourism respectively.

Meanwhile, Kurian's responsibilities fall under the ministries of Kiren Rijiju (Minority Affairs) and Rajiv Ranjan Singh alias Lalan Singh (Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying).

Kurian, who contested the 2016 state assembly polls, has served as a member of the BJP's national executive committee and was a vice-president of Yuva Morcha.

Kerala has had multiple union ministers in the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance governments. Vayalar Ravi and A K Antony were Union Ministers. Ravi handled the Overseas Indian Affairs portfolio while Antony was the Defence Minister. E Ahamed, Shashi Tharoor, K V Thomas, Mullappally Ramachandran, K C Venugopal and Kodikunnil Suresh have also held minister of State portfolios in the past.

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