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Pinarayi Vijayan

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Pinarayi Vijayan
Vijayan in 2023
12th Chief Minister of Kerala
Assumed office
25 May 2016
Governor
Preceded byOommen Chandy
Additional ministries
Assumed office
25 May 2016
Ministry and Departments
  • General Administration
  • All India Services
  • Planning and Economic Affairs
  • Science, Technology and Environment
  • Pollution Control
  • Scientific Institutes
  • Personnel and Administrative Reforms
  • Election
  • Integration
  • Information Technology
  • Sainik Welfare
  • Distress Relief
  • State Hospitality
  • Airports
  • Metro Rail
  • Inter - State River Waters - Kaveri, Nila and Periyar Tribunals
  • Coastal Shipping and Inland Navigation
  • Kerala State Inland Navigation Corporation
  • Information and Public Relations
  • Non- Resident Keralites’ Affairs
  • Home
  • Vigilance
  • Administration of Civil and Criminal Justice
  • Fire and Rescue Services
  • Prisons
  • Printing and Stationery
  • Welfare of Minorities
  • All important policy matters
  • Subjects not mentioned elsewhere
Preceded byOommen Chandy
Member of the Kerala Legislative Assembly
Assumed office
2 June 2016
Preceded byK. K. Narayanan
ConstituencyDharmadom
In office
1996–2001
Preceded byC. P. Narayanan
Succeeded byP. K. Sreemathi
ConstituencyPayyanur
In office
1991–1996
Preceded byK. P. Mammoo Master
Succeeded byK. K. Shailaja
ConstituencyKuthuparamba
In office
1970–1979
Preceded byK. K. Abee
Succeeded byN. V. Raghavan
ConstituencyKuthuparamba
Minister for Electricity, Kerala
In office
20 May 1996 – 19 October 1998
Chief MinisterE. K. Nayanar
Preceded byG. Karthikeyan
Succeeded byS. Sharma
Minister of Co-operatives, Kerala
In office
20 May 1996 – 19 October 1998
Chief MinisterE. K. Nayanar
Preceded byM. V. Raghavan
Succeeded byS. Sharma
Member of the Politburo of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)
Assumed office
24 March 2002
Secretary of the Communist Party of India (Marxist), Kerala State Committee
In office
25 September 1998 – 23 February 2015
Preceded byChadayan Govindan
Succeeded byKodiyeri Balakrishnan
Personal details
Born (1945-05-24) 24 May 1945 (age 79)
Pinarayi, Cannanore, Madras Presidency, British India
(present day Kannur, Kerala, India)
Political partyCommunist Party of India (Marxist)
Spouse
T. Kamala
(m. 1979)
[1]
Children2
Parent(s)Maroli Koran
Alakkatt Kalyani[2]
RelativesP. A. Mohammed Riyas (son-in-law)
Residence(s)Cliff House, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala
Alma materGovernment Brennen College, Thalassery (BA)[3]
Signature

Pinarayi Vijayan (Malayalam: [piɳɐraːji ʋid͡ʒɐjɐn]; born 24 May 1945) is an Indian politician who serves as the chief minister of Kerala since 25 May 2016.[4][5][6] A member of the politburo of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) (CPI(M)), he is the longest-serving secretary of the Kerala State Committee of the CPI(M) (1998–2015). He has also served as Minister of Electric Power and Co-operatives during the third E. K. Nayanar ministry. Vijayan won a seat in the May 2016 Kerala Legislative Assembly election and 2021 Kerala Legislative Assembly election as the CPI(M) candidate for Dharmadom constituency and was selected as the leader of the Left Democratic Front (LDF) and became the 12th Chief Minister of Kerala.[7][8][9] He is the first chief minister from Kerala to be re-elected after completing a full term (five years) in office.[10] In 2022, he also became the longest-continuous serving chief minister of Kerala surpassing C. Achutha Menon who had been the first to remain in office for 2364 consecutive days.[11]

Personal life and education

Vijayan was born on 24 May 1945 in Pinarayi, Kannur, Kerala, as the youngest son of Koran and Kalyani.[12] He had 14 siblings of whom only three survived. After graduating from school, he worked as a handloom weaver for a year before joining for a pre-university course in the Government Brennen College, Thalassery. Subsequently, he earned B.A. Economics degree from the same college.[13]

He is married to Kamala Vijayan and has two children, daughter Veena Vijayan who is married to P. A. Mohammed Riyas and son Vivek Kiran Vijayan. His wife is a retired teacher.[14][15]

Political career

Early political career (1964–1970)

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan with a team of delegates from European Union Research and Innovation

Pinarayi Vijayan entered politics through student union activities at Government Brennen College, Thalassery. He eventually joined the Communist Party of India (Marxist) in 1964. Vijayan became Kannur district secretary of the Kerala Students Federation (KSF), which later became the Students Federation of India (SFI). He went on to become the state secretary and subsequently the state president of KSF. He then moved on to Kerala State Youth Federation (KSYF), which later became the Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI). He became the president of the state committee. During that period, when communists in Kerala were organising the political activities from different hide-outs, Pinarayi Vijayan was imprisoned for one and a half years. Later, he was elected as the president of the Kerala state co-operative bank. He became the Kannur district secretary of the CPI(M) when M.V. Raghavan left the party over the 'alternative document' row.

Kerala Assembly (1970–present)

At the age of 25, in 1970 assembly election Vijayan contested from Kuthuparamba and won the seat making him as Kerala’s youngest legislator, a record still unbroken.[citation needed] He was elected to the Assembly in 1970, 1977 and 1991 from Kuthuparamba, in 1996 from Payyanur and in 2016, 2021 from Dharmadom.

Electoral performance in Kerala Assembly

Year Constituency Opponent Result Margin
1970 Kuthuparamba Thayath Raghavan (PSP) Won 743[16]
1977 Kuthuparamba Abdulkadar (RSP) Won 4,401[17]
1991 Kuthuparamba P. Ramakrishnan (INC) Won 12,960[18]
1996 Payyannur K. N. Kannoth (INC) Won 28,078[19]
2016 Dharmadom Mambaram Divakaran (INC) Won 36,905[20]
2021 Dharmadom C. Raghunathan (INC) Won 50,123[21]

During Emergency (1975)

During the emergency rule, when communists in Kerala were organising the political activities from different hide-outs, many CPI(M) members and leaders including Pinarayi Vijayan was imprisoned for one and a half years. He was arrested and tortured by police.[22] After his release, Pinarayi Vijayan reached the Kerala Legislative Assembly and made an impassionate speech against senior Congress leader K. Karunakaran holding up the blood-stained shirt he wore when in police custody, causing serious embarrassment to the then C. Achutha Menon government.[23]

Minister of Electricity (1996–1998)

In the 1996 assembly election, E. K. Nayanar led LDF won the election and Vijayan was appointed as Minister of Electricity.[24] Under his ministry Kerala made a huge progress in the generation and distribution of electricity towards self-sufficiency.[citation needed]

State Secretary of CPIM (Kerala) (1998–2016)

In 1998, he became the state secretary of the CPI(M), following the death of the incumbent Chadayan Govindan. He was elected to the Politburo of the CPI(M) in 2002.[25] After resigning the post as the Minister of Electricity in 1998, Vijayan assumed as state secretary of CPI(M) for 18 years. As the party has been declining in West Bengal, Tripura and rest of India, under his leadership CPI(M) saw the base of the party strengthening up in the State.[26] He led the party to a landslide victory in the 2004 Indian general election, 2006 Kerala assembly election,[27] 2014 Indian general election and 2016 Kerala assembly election.[28]

On 26 May 2007 the CPI(M) suspended Pinarayi Vijayan and V. S. Achuthanandan from the Politburo for their public remarks on each other. Pinarayi was reinstated into the Politburo later.[29]

Positions held

Chief Minister

Pinarayi Vijayan with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, inaugurating the Kochi Metro.

First term (2016–2021)

Following the 2016 Legislative Assembly election, Pinarayi Vijayan became the Chief Minister of Kerala. The swearing-in ceremony of his Left Democratic Front ministry with 19-member cabinet was held on 25 May 2016.[30][31][32] Vijayan held the charge of Home Affairs & Vigilance Departments along with the other portfolios normally held by the Chief Ministers, and not mentioned elsewhere. He is elected from Dharmadom constituency.[21]

Notable work

  • In first of its kind in Kerala, his ministry introduced a yearly progress report to mark accountability and transparency of the ruling front.[33] The report contained the evaluation and performance of the ministry with respect to the promises in the election manifesto released by Left Democratic Front.[34] His ministry made history by keeping 570 of 600 poll promises mentioned in the election manifesto by December 2020.[35][36]
  • His ministry introduced four missions for building Nava Keralam, a project expected to have a transformational effect on Kerala in the long run. The missions include LIFE Mission, a project to solve the problems of all categories of people including the homeless and landless and those who could not complete their house construction after starting it. It completed more than 2 lakh homes for the homeless.[37] The Ardram Mission aimed at a total overhaul of the public health sector making it people friendly, affordable for the poorest, and a means to provide substantial state of the art infrastructure facilities. It extended super specialty facilities that was earlier limited to medical colleges, to district and taluk hospitals as well.[38][39] The Haritha Keralam Mission was a comprehensive project implemented to clear and remove waste from all the water bodies in Kerala; ponds, rivers, lakes and streams.[40] The mission was a participatory program on the lines of literacy mission, democratic decentralization and people's planning and it involved the removal of solid waste, removal of waste water and measures to increase the area of land under cultivation are being undertaken under this project.[40] The Education Mission, proposed comprehensive educational reforms including upgrading one thousand government schools into international standards during the first phase and steadily improved the infrastructure for the education in Kerala.[41] Kerala thereafter became the first fully digital state in the country in the field of public education, with the completion of the ‘hi-tech classroom and hi-tech lab’ projects in government-owned schools.[42]
Food kit distributed during COVID-19 pandemic in Kerala by the state government
  • His ministry offered 1,03,361 title deeds for landless people, found 22,000 hectares for additional paddy cultivation, restored 17182  square kilometers of water bodies, distributed 8,500,000 free Handloom School Uniforms, built 45,000 high tech classrooms, ensured 341,293 new student enrollment in public schools and enlarged 5,000,000 sq.ft. as a newly built-up area for Information Technology.[43][44]
  • Kerala became the first state in India to provide employment reservation in rail network (Kochi Metro) for transgender people.[45] His ministry also provided reservation for transgender students pursuing degrees in the Arts and Sciences in graduation and post graduation.[46]
  • For the first time in India, an all-woman police squad called 'Pink Patrol' was introduced in Kerala to ascertain the security of women and children in public places.[47][48]
  • His government formed Loka Kerala Sabha to bring Malayali diaspora living around the globe under one platform.[49][50]
  • His tenure saw Kerala becoming first fully electrified State and fully open-defecation-free State in India.[citation needed] The 'filament free state', a project to bring in affordable LED bulbs in all households in Kerala also received good public attention.[51]
  • He launched Kerala Bank and Kerala Administrative Service.[52][53]
  • He completed Kochi-Mangaluru natural gas pipeline, GAIL Pipeline project.[54][55]
  • During his tenure, completion of Alappuzha Bypass and Kollam Bypass was done which was overdue since 1970s.[citation needed]
  • Kerala was ranked as the best governed state by Public Affairs Index,[56] Excellence Award 2017 of Cops Today International.[57]

Second term (2021–present)

The 2021 election of Kerala saw the incumbent government of Vijayan led Left Democratic Front (LDF) retained to power with 99 seats, 8 more than in the previous election, marking the first time that an alliance won consecutive terms in the state since its 1977 election.[58] Pinarayi Vijayan also became the only Chief minister of Kerala to get re-elected after completing full five year term in the office. The Council assumed office on 20 May 2021.[59] The ministry is having a total of 21 ministers in the Cabinet compared to 20 ministers in the previous government.[60][61] In November 2022, Vijayan became the longest continuous serving chief minister of Kerala.

Notable work

Kochi Water Metro
  • Vijayan inaugurated the Kochi Water Metro, India's first water metro system in 2021.[62] It is also described as possibly the largest electric boat metro transportation infrastructure being implemented in the world.[63]
  • In 2023, his ministry introduced 'Mission 1000', an initiative to select 1,000 micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) and turn them into ventures with Rs 100 crore turnover in four years.
  • Kerala Fiber Optic Network (K-FON) is a public-funded initiative by the Government of Kerala that aims to provide high-speed Internet connectivity to the whole Indian state of Kerala.[64] More than 20 lakh BPL families in the state are expected to get free internet access, according to the project.[65] The project was inaugurated on 5 June 2023 by the Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan.[66]
  • Kerala Startup Mission became one of the top 5 startup incubators in the world in 2023.[67]
  • On 28 June 2023, Pinarayi Vijayan launched 'Pride Project' to provide jobs for transgender people. This project is also a part of the Kerala government’s effort to give jobs to 2 million people by 2026.[68]
  • A state wide outreach programme Nava Kerala Sadas was organised by the government where the chief minister and Kerala Council of Ministers travelled through all assembly constituencies of the state.[69]
  • On 1 January 2024, K-Smart app was launched for digital access to services of local body institutions and government services in Kerala.[70]

Awards and honours

Reception

Pinarayi Vijayan was one among the accused in Kerala's first political murder case, of that of Vadikkal Ramakrishnan who was killed by an axe on 28 April 1969. Though the court acquitted all the accused of lack of evidence, this has been used by various political opponents to portray the violent nature of CPI(M) - RSS conflicts in Kannur which has taken more than 200 lives of supporters from both factions.[73][74][75]

The SNC Lavalin controversy in Kerala was a major allegation that rocked Kerala politics. The Comptroller and Auditor General of India report had stated that the deal Vijayan had struck[76] as electricity minister in 1998 with Lavalin, a Canadian firm, for the repair of three generators, had cost the state exchequer a staggering Rs 375 crores. On 16 January 2007, Kerala High Court ordered a CBI enquiry into the SNC Lavalin case.[77] There are also reports that the CAG did not report any losses to state exchequer, but that the project did not yield commensurate gains.[78] Pinarayi Vijayan had been named as the 9th accused in the case by CBI.[79][80] The CPM led Kerala Government decided not to let Vijayan to be prosecuted in the case.[81] Over-ruling the cabinet recommendation, the Governor allowed CBI to prosecute Vijayan.[82][83] Though CPI(M) called Governor's move un-constitutional, then Kerala Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan said there is nothing surprising or wrong in Governor's decision.[84][85][86][87] On 5 November 2013, the CBI special court discharged Pinarayi Vijayan and the others accused from the list of accused in the SNC-Lavalin Case. The court has allowed a plea made by Pinarayi Vijayan asking his name to be removed from the list of accused in the case. The court held that there isn't any proof of dishonest and fraudulent intentions, abuse of official position and cheating.[88][89]

On 16 February 2007 the airport security in Chennai Airport recovered five bullets from Vijayan's baggage. The Chennai airport security let him off after receiving a faxed copy of his license.[90] As CPI(M) state secretary, Pinarayi Vijayan demanded that the Catholic Church in Kerala withdraw a controversial pastoral letter. The letter recommended a "liberation struggle" on the lines of the one in the 1950s to liberate the education sector in Kerala from state control so that the management could charge fees and capitation without government intervention.[91] During the 2018 Kerala floods, the Government of Kerala was accused of misappropriating a large amount from the Chief Minister's Distress Relief Fund which was collected during the floods.[92]

Kerala Public Service Commission row over temporary appointments and delay of appointments from rank lists to permanent posts.[93] Deep sea fishing controversy over deal between Kerala Industrial Development Corporation (KIDC) and EMCC International India Private Limited.[94] Covid protocol violations.[95] In 2020, Vijayan faced heat from various opposition parties after several members of the chief minister's office were accused in the 2020 Kerala gold smuggling case.[96] The suspended principal secretary of IT department Mr. M. Shivasankar was arrested in connection with the investigation of the Gold smuggling case.[97]

In May 2021, the Kerala government planned to spend ₹98 lakh to renovate the Chief Minister's official residence, and PWD granted the project to the Uralungal Society without inviting tenders.[98]

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External links

Political offices
Preceded by Chief Minister of Kerala
25 May 2016 – present
Succeeded by
Incumbent