Tuesday, May 28, 2024

3-time RS member, Rajeev Chandrasekhar now takes LS route to enter Parliament


New Delhi: A three-time member of the Rajya Sabha, Union minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar was fielded by the BJP on Saturday as its candidate from Thiruvananthapuram in Kerala for the upcoming Lok Sabha polls.

Chandrasekhar, who is among the ministers not renominated to the Rajya Sabha, had recently told PTI that he is raring to contest his first Lok Sabha polls and looking forward to “an even more exciting phase” in his political career.

His current Rajya Sabha term ends on April 2.

One needs to be extremely responsible and a grassroots politician to be a Lok Sabha member and he is “deeply fortunate” that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leadership have considered him worthy of it, the technology entrepreneur-turned-politician said.

The minister of state for skill development and entrepreneurship, and electronics and information technology, Chandrasekhar has worked with global tech giants, such as Intel.

In 1991, he returned to India and founded BPL Mobile in 1994. He was one of the pioneers to invest in and build the Indian telecom sector.

He later founded Jupiter Capital as a private equity investor in 2006 and was its chairman till 2014.

Chandrasekhar’s parliamentary journey began in 2006. He was elected to the Rajya Sabha in May 2006, representing Karnataka.

Once a chip designer, he has been a key voice of the Modi government on issues including digitisation, emerging technologies, artificial intelligence (AI) and internet.

He has also been vocal in questioning tech giants on their policies and products.

Chandrasekhar had slammed Google over AI tool Gemini’s objectionable response and bias to a question on Modi.

He had asserted that “unreliable” models and algorithms should not to be experimented on Indians.

A Union minister since July 2021, Chandrasekhar has been associated with the Vivekananda International Foundation.

He has also served as a national spokesperson of the BJP.

A votary for a free and open internet and net neutrality, Chandrasekhar had opposed certain decisions taken by the previous Congress-led UPA government.

The 59-year-old also contributed in the formulation of the New Telecom Policy (NTP ’99) that led to the growth and success of the cellular sector.

In his parliamentary career, Chandrasekhar has been a member of the key standing committee on finance, the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), the Joint Committee on Data Protection Bill, 2019 and the consultative committee on education and IT.

He has also been a member of the Indian Council for World Affairs.


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