New Delhi [India], May 2 (ANI): Following the victory of Kerala Chief Minister and Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader Pinarayi Vijayan from the Dharmadam Assembly constituency and the ruling LDF appearing poised to form the government in Kerala again, he seems to be on course to become chief minister for a second term.
Vijayan could become only the third Chief Minister in the state to be re-elected and the first to continue in office after completing a full term.
He contested against Kannur District Congress Committee General Secretary C Raghunath and CK Padmanabhan, former head of the Kerala BJP.
On April 6, Vijayan had said that Left Democratic Front (LDF) will get a historic win in the state Assembly polls, adding that the allegations levelled against his party were dismissed in the civic elections.
Vijayan, who was elected as the 12th chief minister of Kerala after LDF came to power in 2016, has had a tumultuous journey in his first term.
He faced opposition within the party and also had to work really hard to gain popularity among the masses.
In November 2017 when Cyclone Ockhi hit Kerala, the Vijayan government was criticised for mishandling the disaster, which killed dozens of people, devastated fishing villages in Thiruvananthapuram, flooded farmland and damaged houses.
But during the 2018 floods, Vijayan emerged as a great manager. During the crisis, he remained in the state capital to coordinate and oversee the rescue activities and relief measures personally, which increased his popularity among the masses.
During the Sabarimala Temple controversy -- which erupted following the state government's efforts to implement the Supreme Court's order on lifting a centuries-old ban on entry of women of menstruating age to the temple -- Vijayan stood strong on his decision of implementing the apex court's order despite massive protest by opposition parties in the state.
The Sabrimala controversy has been ferociously raised by the Opposition, including the Bharatiya Janata Party, during the campaign for the assembly elections.
Vijayan has also been the target of the Opposition for the infamous gold-smuggling case. The gold-smuggling case relates to the seizure of about 30-kilogram gold worth Rs 14.82 crore from diplomatic baggage at Thiruvananthapuram international airport in July 2020, which is being probed by the Enforcement Directorate, Customs and the National Investigation Agency.
M Sivasankar, former principal secretary to the chief minister who is currently suspended, was arrested in connection with the case. The case is being probed by various central agencies, including the Enforcement Directorate.
Vijayan is a politbureau member of the Communist Party of India (Marxist). He served as the secretary of Kerala State Committee of CPI(M) from 1998 to 2015. He also served as Minister of Electricity and Co-operatives from 1996 to 1998 during E.K. Nayanar's tenure as chief minister of Kerala. Three times Vijayan was elected to the state Legislative Assembly in 1977, 1991 and 1996.
Vijayan won from Dharmadom constituency in 2016 assembly elections and was sworn-in as the 12th Chief Minister of Kerala on May 25, 2016.
Born in May 1945, he comes from poor toddy tapper's family in Pinarayi in Kannur district and is the youngest son of his parents.
His wife is Kamala Vijayan and they have one daughter and one son.
During his student days at Government Brennen College, Vijayan participated in student union activities and joined the Communist Party in 1964. He became Kannur district secretary of Kerala Students' Federation (KSF), which became the Students Federation of India (SFI). He was state secretary and state president of the party.
He moved to Kerala State Youth Federation (KSYF) which later became the Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI). He was chosen as the president of the state committee. He has also been the president of the Kerala state co-operative bank.
Vijayan was arrested when the Emergency was imposed in the country in 1975. After MV Raghavan left the party, he became Kannur district secretary of CPI(M). He became member of the state secretariat within three years. He got elected to the CPI(M) politburo in 2002.
The state went to polls in a single phase on April 6. In the contest, there is the ruling LDF which comprises CPI(M), CPI, Kerala Congress (M) and other smaller parties whereas UDF consists of the Indian National Congress, Indian Union Muslim League, Kerala Congress, Revolutionary Socialist Party and other smaller parties. Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Bharath Dharma Jana Sena are the main constituents of the NDA. (ANI)