Priyank M. Kharge
|Priyank M. Kharge|
|Minister for Social Welfare Government of Karnataka|
Assumed office |
|Political party||Indian National Congress|
Priyank M. Kharge is an Indian politician and a member of the Indian National Congress from the state of Karnataka. He is currently minister of social welfare department in the cabinet of H D Kumaraswamy. He is the son of Mallikarjun Kharge, the leader of opposition in Lok Sabha belonging Indian National Congress as well. Kharge is a second-term member of the Karnataka Legislative Assembly. In June 2016 Kharge was inducted into the Siddaramaiah led government of Karnataka as a state minister with Independent Charge. Kharge holds the Information Technology and Bio-Technology, Science and Technology Department portfolio in the Government of Karnataka. At age 38, Kharge is the youngest minister to be sworn into the Karnataka Cabinet. 
Priyank Kharge is from the Indian National Congress, Kharge represents Chitapur Assembly Constituency of Gulbarga district, Karnataka. Priyank Kharge entered politics as a Student activist of the National Students' Union of India. He rose through the ranks of the cadres as a student activist, NSUI member, State Secretary in charge of Bengaluru City. He moved on to Youth Congress as a member, before becoming the Karnataka Pradesh Youth Congress Secretary under Sri. Dinesh Gundu Rao, who was the KPYCC President. After a couple of years stint as Secretary, Priyank Kharge was promoted as General Secretary in KPYCC and served 3 Presidents ( Dinesh Gundu Rao, Sadanand Danganavvar, Krishna Byre Gowda). He was then selected as the Vice President of Karnataka Pradesh Youth Congress Committee with Rizwan Arshad as the President.
As a party loyalist, he was picked by INC to fight the Chittapur Assembly bye-elections in 2008 in which he lost by 1600 votes to the ruling party, BJP. However he remained unfazed and relentlessly campaigned for the people of Chittapur who elected him in the following 2013 Assembly Election by over 30000 votes, beating Valmiki Nayak of the Bharatiya Janata Party.
Besides holding the Information Technology and Bio-Technology, Science and Technology Department portfolio Tourism is also the Tourism Department with Independent Charge. As the Tourism minister Kharge announced a science circuit, Bengaluru Tourism Advisory Committee, Hyderabad-Karnataka Tourism Advisory Committee, the coastal circuit and the Cauvery circuit to boost Tourism in the state.  As the Information Technology Minister, Kharge has introduced a Startup Booster Kit which has facilities like access to mentors, cloud credits and incubators. In 2017 he started Bengaluru Tech Summit to boost the tech industry. Dr. Somdutta Singh from Nasscom actively works with the ministry on this front. 
- "minister with Independent Charge". kla.kar.nic.in.
- "Priyank began his political career in NSUI". thehindu.com.
- "Sitting and previous MLAs from Chittapur Assembly Constituency". elections.in.
- "Information Technology and Bio-Technology Minister". economictimes.indiatimes.com.
- "Karnataka now has launched a Startup Booster Kit – Here's what is in it". businessinsider.in.
- "Karnataka plans startup booster kit". deccanherald.com.