Will Learn Kannada, Be Karnataka's Servant, Says Minister N Sitharaman

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Will Learn Kannada, Be Karnataka's Servant, Says Minister N Sitharaman

Nirmala Sitharaman, 56, was elected to the upper house from Andhra Pradesh. (File Photo)

New Delhi: 

Highlights

  1. The Tamilian minister is running for a Rajya Sabha seat from Karnataka
  2. Elections for the 4 vacant seats from the state will be held on June 11
  3. Kannada organisations firmly against nominating 'outsiders' for the seats
Union Commerce Minister Niramala Sitharaman, contesting for a Rajya Sabha seat from Karnataka, on Tuesday said she would learn Kannada and protect the state's interests.

"Though I know Kannada a little bit, I will learn to speak in Kannada," Ms Sitharaman, a Tamilian, told reporters after filing her nomination as a BJP candidate for the election for the four vacant seats from the state on June 11.

Ms Sitharaman, 56, was elected to the upper house from Andhra Pradesh in the previous term after she became a minister in the BJP-led NDA government in May 2014.

She replaced Union Urban Development Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu as the party nominee from the state after he was shifted to contest from Rajasthan following opposition to him from Kannada organisations, which accused him of doing nothing for Karnataka despite being elected to the Rajya Sabha from the state for three terms since 1998.

The organisations also launched a campaign against nominating outsiders for the Rajya Sabha seats from the state.

"I will make sure Karnataka's interests are upheld in parliament. I'm going to be a servant here as I am being sent by the Prime Minister who calls himself Pradhan Sevak," Ms Sitharaman asserted.

In the 225-member state assembly, which forms the electoral college, the Bharatiya Janata Party has 44 lawmakers and support of two regional allies.

As each candidate requires 45 votes to win the contest from the state, Ms Sitharaman's election appears certain.
 

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