The newly elected Karnataka government is set to prove its strength on the floor at 12.45 PM today, succeeding which the Cabinet Ministers’ portfolios will be decided. However, the demand for bringing former IT and BT Minister Priyank Kharge back to the same portfolio has risen as Tie Bengaluru Chapter, supported by a number of Bengaluru startups, has written a letter to the Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy, urging the same.
Supporting Kharge’s policy initiatives, the TiE Bengaluru letter to the CM says, “Industry leaders and the startup ecosystem viewed him very favourably. We feel the state and industry will benefit greatly from Priyank Kharge being offered an opportunity to continue leading ITBT agenda for Karnataka. We humbly request your consideration of our sincere request.”
TiE Bengaluru comprises of 750+ members, includes successful entrepreneurs, corporate executives, startup founders and community leaders.
In this letter, TiE has made a mention of the major policy initiatives taken by Kharge during his tenure which includes, Elevate 100, India’s largest state-sponsored incubation programme, establishment of AI and big data analytics Centres of Excellence (CoEs) to bridge the knowledge gaps and organising Bengaluru Tech Summit which aims to bring industrialists, investors, technologists and other stakeholders under roof.
The letter says, “Kharge helped elevate the global stature of Bengaluru and Karnataka as the preferred destination for global technology and startup companies. He interacted extensively with industry executives, companies and organisations throughout his tenure, encouraging and empowering his departments to operate with high urgency and great transparency.”
Further, “He has remained personally accessible, followed progressive actions and goals, been eager to build initiatives that delivered high positive impact to startups and has always been receptive to addressing the needs of IT services companies and MNCs who operate across Karnataka.”
Karnataka was the first state in the country to implement the startup policy. Speaking to Inc42, Kharge had earlier also reaffirmed his commitments to implement blockchain in e-governance in order to improve the transparency and efficiency.
While Neha Satak of Astrome Technologies said, “The experience was good,” Vivek Jain, Founder of an augmented reality community network startup FlippAR stated, “Yes, he has been a great help for the startups. As per my experience, I can say that the authorities were quite responsive, efficient and transparent.”
While some other startuppers also, on the condition of anonymity, subscribed to the opinion that Priyank Kharge’s ministry did a lot for the startups in the state, a few accused him of not having the transparency in the policy implementation.
Unlike the previous Congress government, the present government has been formed in coalition with the JDS party where HD Kumaraswamy from JDS is the Chief Minister while Congress’ Parameswaran will be the Deputy Chief Minister. While 22 MLAs from the Congress and 11 from JDS are expected to be a part of Kumaraswamy cabinet, and due to the trade-off, between the two parties, the MLAs and who will take what is still undecided.