Updated: May 25, 2021 6:41:23 pm
CPM’s MB Rajesh was elected the Speaker of the 15th Kerala Assembly Tuesday with support from 96 legislators in the 140-member Assembly.
While Rajesh’s victory was a foregone conclusion due to the LDF’s brute majority in the Assembly, UDF had nominated Kundara MLA PC Vishnunath as its candidate. The UDF candidate got support of 40 legislators. The LDF and UDF have 99 and 41 legislators in the Assembly respectively. Pro-tem Speaker PTA Rahim did not cast his vote and three other MLAs could not take part in the election due to ill-health.
This is Rajesh’s debut term in the Assembly, having been elected from Thrithala constituency in Palakkad district. He defeated incumbent MLA VT Balram of the Congress by a thin margin of over 3,000 votes. Though his name did the rounds for a position in the cabinet, the party eventually chose him for the Speaker’s post, succeeding P Sreeramakrishnan.
Rajesh (50) was a Lok Sabha MP from Palakkad between 2009 and 2019.
In the 2019 elections, he suffered a shocking defeat at the hands of VK Sreekandan of the Congress. He’s a native of Chalavara near Shoranur and is a graduate of law from the Kerala University. He completed his post-graduation in economics from the NSS College, Ottappalam. He has been the national president of the CPM youth outfit DYFI and is currently a member of the CPM state committee.
After his election as the Speaker, he told the House that he would accord complete freedom to all members of the Assembly to raise pertinent issues affecting the people of the state without discrimination on the basis of Treasury and Opposition benches.
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