Shri Mallikarjun Kharge assumed charge as the Union Minister of Railways here today i.e. 19th June, 2013. Prior to this, Shri Kharge was Union Minister of Labour and Employment. He is a Member of Parliament (Lok Sabha) from Gulbarga constituency in Karnataka. Immediately after assuming the office, the Shri Kharge was briefed by Shri Vinay Mittal, Chairman Railway Board, Board Members and senior officials on various important issues concerning the Railway Ministry including the priority areas.
Shri Kharge is a law graduate from Government College, Gulbarga, Karnataka University and is an advocate, social worker and agriculturist. He has had a long political career during which he has held several important portfolios. He was Member, Karnataka State Assembly for nine terms from 1972 to 2009. From 1979 he has served as Cabinet Minister, Government of Karnataka in various departments in varying spells. He was Cabinet Minister Revenue, Rural Development & Panchayati Raj (1990-92), Cabinet Minister, Co-operation, Medium and Large Industries (1979), Cabinet Minister Revenue (1980-1983),Cabinet Minister Revenue, Rural Development & Panchayati Raj (1990-92), Cabinet Minister, Cooperation, Medium and Large Industries (1992-94), Leader, Congress Legislature Party and Leader of Opposition, Karnataka (1996-99), Cabinet Minister, Home, Infrastructure Development and Minor Irrigation (1999-2004), Cabinet Minister, Water Resources and Transport (2004-2006), President, Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (2005) and Leader of Congress Legislature Party and Leader of Opposition, Karnataka (2008-09). In the year 2009, Shri Kharge was elected to 15th Lok Sabha and from 31st May 2009 onwards he was Union Cabinet Minister of Labour & Employment.
His interests lie in social and welfare activities which included introduction of Policy of backlog vacancies for weaker section for the first time in the country, to fill up the posts of teachers, several reforms in the education department, implementation of Land Reforms Act, modernization of Police Department in Karnataka, expediting Bangalore International Airport Project etc. As a widely travelled person, Shri Kharge has led various important committees.