Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Sunday congratulated Alphons Kannanthanam, a bureaucrat turned politician from the state, for becoming a minister in the NDA government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Vijayan in a Facebook post expected that the new position would help Kannanthanam become the state’s voice in the Union cabinet while effectively intervening into national issues as Union Minister.
Describing Kannanthanam as a ‘long-term’ friend, Vijayan said the ministerial post was an ‘Onam gift’ to him and hoped that it would give him more strength to work for the state. “The joint effort by the Centre and state would make the path for the development easier. I hope that Kannanthanam will be able to contribute for this”, Vijayan said.
Kannanthanam started his political journey after quitting his IAS career, and successfully contested as a Left independent from Kanjirappally assembly constituency in 2006. Though CPI(M) had offered him a ticket to contest in the next assembly polls, he turned down the offer and later joined the BJP.