BENGALURU: Bhagwanth Khuba, a two-time Lok Sabha member, hails from the politically dominant Lingayat community which the BJP considers as its key vote base in north Karnataka.
His induction into the Union ministry on Wednesday is being seen as a move to fill up Lingayat representation in the cabinet that had fallen vacant following the death of Suresh Angadi, due to COVID-19 in September last year, who was serving as Minister of State for Railways.
An engineering graduate, Khuba (54), was involved in a family business and had never fought an election before he entered the Lok Sabha in 2014, by defeating political giant from the region, Congress veteran and former Chief Minister late N Dharam Singh in Bidar segment.
He again won the seat in 2019, by defeating another Congress heavyweight in the region Eshwar B Khandre.
The fight against the two Lingayat leaders in the community's bastion was keenly watched.
Born on June 1, 1967 at Aurad in Bidar, he obtained B.E.(Mech.) from Sree Siddaganga Institute of Technology, Tumakuru.
He is currently a member of the Standing Committee on Agriculture, and Consultative Committee, Ministry of Railways.