Pinarayi Vijayan Chief Minister of Kerala

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Pinarayi Vijayan
Pinarayi Vijayan 1.jpg
12th Chief Minister of Kerala
Assumed office
25 May 2016
GovernorP. Sathasivam
Arif Mohammed Khan
Preceded byOommen Chandy
Minister of Home Affairs, Kerala state
Assumed office
25 May 2016
Preceded byRamesh Chennithala
Member of Kerala Legislative Assembly
Assumed office
2 June 2016
Preceded byK. K. Narayanan
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
Minister of Electricity, Kerala state
In office
20 May 1996 – 19 October 1998
Preceded byG. Karthikeyan
Succeeded byS. Sharma
Minister of Co-operatives, Kerala state
In office
20 May 1996 – 19 October 1998
Preceded byM. V. Raghavan
Succeeded byS. Sharma
Personal details
Born (1945-05-24) 24 May 1945 (age 75)
Pinarayi, Malabar District, Madras Presidency, British India
Political partyCommunist Party of India (Marxist)
ChildrenVivek Kiran
ResidencePinarayi, Kerala, India
Alma materGovernment Brennen College, Thalassery[1]

Pinarayi Vijayan (born 24 May 1945 in Pinarayi)[2] is an Indian politician who is the current Chief Minister of Kerala, serving since 25 May 2016.[3] A member of the Politburo of the Communist Party of India (Marxist), he was the longest-serving secretary of the Kerala State Committee of the CPI(M) from 1998 to 2015. He also served in the government of Kerala as Minister of Electric Power and Co-operatives from 1996 to 1998. Vijayan won a seat in the May 2016 Kerala Legislative Assembly election as the CPI(M) candidate for Dharmadom constituency[4] and was selected as the leader of the Left Democratic Front (LDF) and became the 12th Chief Minister of Kerala.[5][6]

Early life and education

Vijayan was born on 24 May 1945 in Pinarayi village of Malabar district in Madras Presidency, as the youngest son of Koran and Kalyani. He had 14 siblings of which only three survived. After graduating school, he worked as a handloom weaver for a year before joining for Pre–university course in the Government Brennen College, Thalassery. Subsequently, he earned B.A. Economics degree from the same college.[7][8]

Political career

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. During the emergency, he was arrested and tortured by police. He became the Kannur district secretary of the CPI(M) when M.V. Raghavan left the party over the 'alternative document' row. Within three years, he became a member of the State Secretariat. He was elected to the Assembly in 1970, 1977 and 1991 from Kuthuparamba, in 1996 from Payyanur and in 2016 from Dharmadom. He was the Minister for Electric power and Co-operatives in the E.K. Nayanar ministry from 1996 to 1998. 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.[7]

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.[9]

Chief Minister

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

Pinarayi Vijayan was selected by the CPI(M) as Chief Minister of Kerala in May 2016, following the 2016 Legislative Assembly election. Vijayan was selected as the leader of Left Democratic Front government.[5][6] He was sworn in on 25 May 2016 before a crowd of party workers, along with his 19-member cabinet. Vijayan also holds 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. During his reign, he introduced various schemes like Haritha Keralam Mission, Project LIFE, Ardram Mission and Comprehensive Education Reforms. 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.

Positions held

  • State president and secretary of Kerala Student's Federation and president of Kerala State Youth Federation.
  • President of Kerala State Co-operative Bank
  • Elected to Kerala Legislative Assembly in 1970, 1977, 1991, 1996 and 2016.
  • Minister in Kerala government between 1996 and 1998.
  • Secretary of the Kerala state committee of the CPI(M) between 1998 and 2015.
  • Member of the CPI(M) politburo from 2002.
  • Chief Minister of Kerala from 25 May 2016
Election victories
Year Constituency Closest rival Majority (votes)
1970 Kuthuparamba Thayath Raghavan (PSP) 743
1977 Kuthuparamba Abdulkadar (RSP) 4,401
1991 Kuthuparamba P. Ramakrishnan (INC) 12,960
1996 Payyanur K. N. Kannoth (INC) 28,078
2016 Dharmadom Mambaram Divakaran (INC) 36,905

Personal life

He is married to Kamala Vijayan and has two children, T Veena and Vivek Kiran. His wife is a retired teacher. Their son studied MBA at Brimmingham University and now works in HSBC bank, in Abu Dhabi and daughter Veena, after completing a ten-year long career in the information technology (IT) sector, started an IT company of her own in 2015 in Bangalore. T Veena had worked for 8 years in Oracle and then was the CEO of RP Techsoft, a company owned by Malayali NRI businessman Ravi Pillai in Thiruvananthapuram. Vijayan and his wife resides in the official residence of the Chief Minister at Trivandrum.[10][11]


Pinarayi Vijayan was one among the accused in the 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 for 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 the factions.[12][13][14].

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 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.[15] There are also reports that the CAG did not report any losses to state exchequer, but that the project did not yield commensurate gains.[16] On 21 January 2009, CBI filed a progress report on the investigation in the Kerala high court. Pinarayi Vijayan had been named as the 9th accused in the case.[17][18] CPI(M) backed Pinarayi saying that the CBI move was "politically motivated". Party viewed the implication of Pinarayi in the case is to settle scores with the CPM after the party withdrew its support to the UPA government.[18] The CPM led Kerala Government decided not to let Vijayan to be prosecuted in the case.[19] Over-ruling the cabinet recommendation, the Governor allowed CBI to prosecute Vijayan based on prima facie evidence.[20][21] 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.[22][23][24][25] 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.

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.[26]

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.[27]

On 16 October 2007, Pinarayi called Paul Chitilapally, the bishop of Thamarassery in Kerala, a "wretched creature". He was speaking at a memorial remembrance of Mathai Chacko, MLA from Thamarassery and a CPI(M) member. He said "A lie is a lie, and just because it is uttered by a bishop it does not become a holy lie." Later, the Syro-Malabar Catholic Church in arms against the CPI(M) leadership for his comments against the bishop. However, he repeated the same and stuck to his comments. This led to heated discussion among the Catholic community across the state to protest against his speech by closing all educational institutions run by the church.[28][29]

In 2020, Vijayan faced heat from various opposition parties after several members of the chief ministers office were accused in the 2020 Kerala gold smuggling case.[30] The suspended Principal secretary of Chief minister Mr. M. Shivasankar was arrested in connection with the investigation of the Gold smuggling case. [31]


  1. ^ "A college that moulded the CM Pinarayi Vijayan, and many more". Deccan Chronicle. 21 May 2016. Retrieved 25 July 2018.
  2. ^ "Know the Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan". Kerala CM. 8 May 2020. Retrieved 8 May 2020.
  3. ^ "Pinarayi Vijayan to be sworn-in as Kerala chief minister on May 25".
  4. ^ "Pinarayi Vijayan, 72, Will Be Kerala Chief Minister, Not Achuthanandan, 92". 20 May 2016. Retrieved 20 May 2016.
  5. ^ a b Pinarayi Vijayan, 72, Will Be Kerala Chief Minister, Not Achuthanandan, 92
  6. ^ a b Pinarayi Vijayan to be next chief minister of Kerala
  7. ^ a b "Pinarayi Vijayan". Retrieved 13 January 2014.
  8. ^ "A college that moulded the CM Pinarayi Vijayan, and many more". Deccan Chronicle. 21 May 2016. Retrieved 21 May 2016.
  9. ^ "Achuthanandan, Pinarayi Vijayan suspended". The Hindu. Chennai, India. 27 May 2007.
  10. ^ "Communist leader Pinarayi Vijayan's daughter starts an IT company in Bengaluru".
  11. ^ "Vijayan mum on son's admission".
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^ Ullekh N.P. Kannur Inside India's Bloodiest revenge politics.
  15. ^ "Kearala to go by HC order in Lavalin case". The Hindu Business Line. Archived from the original on 9 February 2009.
  16. ^ "CAG finds lapses in deal with SNC Lavalin". The Hindu. 14 February 2006. Archived from the original on 24 June 2016. Retrieved 24 June 2016.
  17. ^ "CBI finds Pinarayi guilty in Lavalin scam, moralistic CPM yet to act". The Economic Times. 22 January 2009. Retrieved 18 November 2010.
  18. ^ a b "CBI seeks nod to prosecute CPM's Kerala unit chief". The Indian Express. 22 January 2009.
  19. ^ "Kerala govt not to prosecute Vijayan in Lavlain case". The Times of India. 6 May 2009.
  20. ^ "Governor allows CBI to prosecute Vijayan". The Times of India. 8 June 2009.
  21. ^ "CBI gets Governor nod to book Pinarayi". The Indian Express. 8 June 2009.
  22. ^ "Kerala CM says governor not wrong, riles CPM". The Times of India. 11 June 2009.
  23. ^ "Rift in Kerala unit of CPIM widens". Business Standard. 19 June 2009.
  24. ^ "Time for party to come to aid of Lavalin accused". Indian Express. 8 July 2009.
  25. ^ "Vijayan fund". Telegraphindia. 25 June 2009.
  26. ^ "Act against Pinarayi: Chandy". The Hindu. 20 February 2007.
  27. ^ "Pinarayi wants pastoral letter retracted". Gulf News. Archived from the original on 29 September 2007. Retrieved 30 July 2007.
  28. ^ "Unfazed Pinarayi continues to attack bishop". The Economic Times. 17 October 2007.
  29. ^ "Do not vitiate social climate, says Pinarayi". The Hindu. 17 October 2007.
  30. ^ "Kerala gold scam: Accused Swapna Suresh had links with CM Pinarayi Vijayan's office".
  31. ^ Missing or empty |title= (help)

External links

Political offices
Preceded by
Oommen Chandy
Chief Minister of Kerala
25 May 2016 – Present
Succeeded by
Original content from Wikipedia, shared with licence Creative Commons By-Sa - Pinarayi Vijayan