New Delhi: Employees of IT sector are made to work like slaves, newly appointed minister of state Alphons Kannanthanam said here on Sunday, promising to bring an end to such exploitation.
Kannanthanam was speaking to media soon after taking oath as a junior minister in the central government with the charges of tourism, information technology and electronics.
The first minister from Kerala in the Modi government, Kannanthanam said he would give special consideration for his home state's tourism sector. He said it was up to the state government to decide on whether availability of liquor was necessary for tourism sector's development or not.
Asked about alleged factionalism and corruption charges surrounding the BJP Kerala unit, he exuded confidence that all such issues would be sorted out soon.
He added that he would try to get released Fr Tom Uzhunnalil, a Keralite priest under the captivity of a terrorist group in Yemen.
Earlier in the day, he had said that he would be Kerala's voice at the Center.
"I am not worried about the portfolio, I am happy no matter what is given to me. Hope to achieve many 'small big' goals," Kannanthanam told reporters, hours ahead of his swearing-in ceremony at the Raj Bhavan on Sunday.
He said that it was a recognition for Kerala. Alphons Kannanthanam is MoS for tourism (independent charge) and MoS for electronics and information technology
A 1979 batch IAS officer, from Manimala in Kottayam, Kannanthanam's name emerged as a surprise pick late Saturday evening. The move is seen as the BJP's efforts to expand its base in the southern state and to take on the CPM-led Left Democratic Front in Kerala.
The bureaucrat-turned-politician's clean image must have prompted the BJP top brass to cherry-pick him from Kerala to the Modi government. An educationist , who made it to the civil services despite scoring low marks in Class X exams, Kannanthanam was recently nominated to the Kasturirangan-led panel instituted to prepare the National Education Policy.
The other new faces to be included in the ministry are BJP MPs Ashwini Kumar Choubey (Bihar), Shiv Pratap Shukla (Uttar Pradesh), former Home Secretary Raj Kumar Singh (Bihar), former diplomat Hardeep Puri and ex-Mumbai police chief Satyapal Singh.
They will take oath at 10.30 am at the Rashtrapati Bhavan.
However, it was not known whether any of the new entrants would be given a cabinet berth. No woman figures on the list.