Thiruvananthapuram: On December 14, 2015, the historic Thekkinkadu Maidan at Thrissur in central Kerala witnessed a mammoth crowd replicating the annual festival at the venue, Pooram, as Prime Minister Narendra Modi kickstarted his battle for Kerala prior to the Assembly elections.
Minutes after beginning his address, from the response of the crowd, Modi could read that the Malayalam translation by a young leader was not in tandem with his Hindi. PM enquired him what went wrong. The reply was, he couldn't listen properly. Then Modi turned to the dais and asked, 'Aapne suna?' (Did you hear?) and invited the one who swiftly replied in affirmative to continue the translation.
The "new recruit" took no time in retaining the tempo of the speech which went on to electrify the party cadre. It was nothing unusual for Vellamvelly Muraleedharan, the one who led the State unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party for nearly six years then. Because the tryst with such opportunities during adverse conditions was normal. "
The state which does not send a member to Lok Sabha is getting a fourth member to Rajya Sabha. It shows the special consideration and importance of the party to the state of Kerala. This will also increase my responsibility to the party as well as the people whom I share a close contact as a field worker for a long time," Muraleedharan told News18.com before leaving to Maharashtra, a state which has close connections as a leader of ABVP, to file the nomination papers to RS on Monday.
A native of Thalassery in the Marxist fort of Kannur, Muraleedharan is known as a fighter who could take any challenge as well as a teacher who could be at ease with the ideological discourses of the party. Hence, when Muraleedharan who was implicated by the LDF government and was kept in judicial custody for two months in 1980, in retaliation, Chief Minister E K Nayanar was locked up and gheraoed by ABVP activists at Delhi Kerala House. The case against him had invited wide public attention and was later dismissed by a court.
He held various positions in ABVP from 1981 to 1996 before becoming the Vice Chairman of Nehru Yuva Kendra in 1999 and later its Director General for two years from 2002.
Hailing from a lower-middle-class family, the 59-year old was associated with RSS from a very young age. When the family fell in crisis following his father’s death, a graduate in English Literature from Govt. Brennan College, Thalassery entered government service as a Lower Division clerk at District Industries Centre, Kannur as advised by his organization. However, he soon returned to politics.
He was the Vice President of the state unit for four years from 2006 and then its President before stepping out in 2015 December. Then he had a grand fight at Kazhakkottam Assembly seat in Thiruvananthapuram where he came second to present State Minister Kadakampalliy Surendran of CPM for nearly 7,000 votes. However, he set the ground ready for the party to send its first member to the state Assembly. On being asked about the higher responsibilities which may be bestowed upon him by the party in future, Muraleedharan said, "I am not expecting bigger as I think even this itself is a big responsibility."