Lotus fails to bloom in Kerala, courtesy Pinarayi Vijayan! A look back at his journey from handloom weaver to Kerala’s CM

He was elected to the Assembly in 1970, 1977, and 1991 from Kuthuparamba, in 1996 from Payyanur, and in 2016 from Dharmadom.


Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan's statement that the Bharatiya Janata Party, which had won one seat in Kerala in the 2016 Assembly polls, would see its account getting closed this time, has come true with the Centre's ruling party failing to secure any victory despite fighting hard in three constituencies.

Vijayan is the 12th Chief Minister of Kerala. He is a member of the Politburo of the Communist Party of India (Marxist). In May 2016, Vijayan won the seat of Kerala Legislative Assembly for the Dharmadom constituency as the CPI(M) candidate. At that time, he was selected as the leader of the Left Democratic Front (LDF), and hence became the 12th Chief Minister of the state.

In 1986, he was appointed as the District Secretary of the CPI(M), as M. V. Raghavan left the party over the ‘alternative document’ row and three years later he was the State Secretariat of the party. And in 1998 he was at the top position of the party – Chief Secretary of CPI(M), after the death of incumbent Chadayan Govindan. He is the longest-serving secretary of the Kerala State Committee of the CPI(M) from 1998 to 2015. He has served as the Minister of Electricity and Co-operatives from 1996-1998, at this time the state witnessed a vast improvement in the power supply.

He was elected to the Assembly in 1970, 1977, and 1991 from Kuthuparamba, in 1996 from Payyanur, and in 2016 from Dharmadom.

Election Victories:

In 1970, 1977, and 1991 from the Kuthuparamba constituency he won with 743, 4,401, and 12,960 votes respectively, in 1996 from the Payyanur constituency he won with 28,078 votes, and in 2016 from the Dharmadom constituency he won with a great majority of around 36,000 votes.

Rough patches of Vijayan’s life:

During the period, when communists in Kerala were organizing the political activities, Pinarayi Vijayan was sent behind the bars for one and a half years.

During the time of emergency in the country, Vijayan was arrested and tortured by the cops.

In May 2007, he was suspended along with V. S. Achuthanandan from the Politburo for their public remarks on each other, but later Vijayan was reinstated into the Politburo.

Pinarayi vs Controversies:

Pinarayi Vijayan was one of the accused in Kerala’s first political murder case of Vadikkal Ramakrishnan who was killed by an axe on 28 April 1969, but the court released him due to lack of evidence.

The major controversy which showed the involvement of Pinarayi was the SNC Lavalin controversy. In 2007, the case was handed over to CBI and Vijayan was the 9th accused in the case by CBI. In 2013 Vijayan’s name was removed from the list of the CBI.

Recently in 2020, Vijayan faced heat from various opposition leaders after many leaders of CMO were accused in the 2020 Kerala gold smuggling case.

Vijayan entered politics during his young days, through student union activities at Government Brennen College. And later, he joined the Communist Party of India (Marxist) in the year 1964. Vijayan became the district secretary of the Kerala Student Federation (KSF) from Kannur. After that, he went on and became the state secretary and subsequently the state president of KSF. He then switched to Kerala State Youth Federation (KSYF).

Vijayan was born on 24th May 1945 in Pinarayi village of Malabar district in Madras Presidency. He earned Bachelor’s degree in Economics from Government Brennen College, Thalassery.

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