Former BJP state president Vellamvelly Muraleedharan made it to the Modi Council of Ministers today, becoming the lone representative from Kerala, among the 58 Ministers.
He took oath of office in English as minister of State with Independent charge in the second term of the Modi Government.
A Rajya Sabha member from Maharashtra and BJP general secretary in-charge of Andhra Pradesh, Muraleedharan replaced Alfons Kannanthanam who held the tourism portfolio in the first Modi Government.
Another name that did the rounds was that of former Mizoram Governor Kummanam Rajasekharan who quit the post to unsuccessfully contest the Lok Sabha elections from Thiruvananthapuram.
Finally, the lot fell on Muraleedharan who entered through the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad during the Emergency. A native of Thalassery in Kannur that has earned ill-reputation for violent political clashes, Muraleedharan was state organising secretary of ABVP in 1983 when he was 25. He later on became the national secretary of ABVP and was president of the State BJP for twice.
Close to national BJP leaders as translator during their addresses in Kerala, he was assistant to Venkaiah Naidu at the BJP central election control room in New Delhi during the 1998 Lok Sabha elections.
He became a Rajya Sabha member from Maharashtra in 2018 and unsuccessfully contested the Lok Sabha election from Kozhikode in 2009.