Ramesh Chennithala (born 25 May 1956) is an Indian politician, affiliated to the Indian National Congress, and the Leader of the Opposition in the Kerala Legislative Assembly since 2016. He has served as the state Home Minister in the Government of Kerala. He holds the record of being the youngest Minister in the State of Kerala at the age of 29.
|Leader of the Opposition of the Kerala Legislative Assembly|
|Assumed office |
29 May 2016
|Preceded by||V. S. Achuthanandan|
|Minister of Home Affairs Kerala|
1 January 2014 – 20 May 2016
|Preceded by||Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan|
|Succeeded by||Pinarayi Vijayan|
|Minister of Rural Development Kerala State|
5 June 1986 – 25 March 1987
|Preceded by||N. Sundaran Nadar|
|Succeeded by||T. Sivadasa Menon|
|President of the Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee|
|Preceded by||K. Muraleedharan|
|Succeeded by||V. M. Sudheeran|
|Member of the Kerala Legislative Assembly|
for Haripad (State Assembly constituency)
|Assumed office |
25 May 2011
|Member of Parliament|
|Preceded by||Skariah Thomas|
|Succeeded by||K. Suresh Kurup|
|Member of Parliament|
|Born||25 May 1956|
Mavelikkara, Travancore-Cochin, India
|Political party||Indian National Congress|
|Children||2 including Rohit Chennithala|
|Alma mater||University of Kerala|
He has also served as Member of Parliament for four terms and member of Legislative assembly for three terms. He has represented the highest body of Indian National Congress, the Congress Working Committee (CWC ) in the year 2004.
Early life and educationEdit
Ramesh Chennithala started political life from early school days. In 1970, he became the Kerala Students Union Chennithala HS Unit Secretary. He subsequently held series of positions in KSU, ( Mavelikkara Taluk General Secretary - 1971, SU Alleppey District Treasurer - 1972, KSU Alleppey District Secretary -1973, KSU State Executive Member - 1975, KSU State Vice President - 1978) becoming the KSU State President in 1980.
In 1982, he became All India President of NSUI and later, in the same year got elected as MLA from Haripad Constituency. In 1985, he became the General Secretary of Indian Youth Congress (I) and went on to become the youngest Minister (Rural Development) in the Ministry of K. Karunakaran in 1986 at the age of 29.
In 1986, he became the President of Pradesh Youth Congress (I), Kerala and in 1987 he was re-elected as MLA from Haripad Constituency..
In 1989 he was elected as Member of Parliament from Kottayam Parliamentary Constituency and became National President, Indian Youth Congress (I) in 1990.. Incumbent West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee was part of this committee.
Later in 1991, 1996 and 1999 he was re-elected to Parliament. He received rich accolades for his fiery speeches in Hindi and English during his tenure. In 2001 he became the AICC Secretary with independent charge of seven states and in 2002 with independent charge of five states. In 2004, he was selected to the highest body of Indian National Congress, the Congress Working Committee (CWC ).
He was also member of various committees including Consultative Committee for Commerce; Labour and Welfare Committee; Central Committee for 125th Birth Anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi; Central Committee for Birth Centenary of Subhash Chandra Bose; Finance Committee-Lok Sabha; H.R.D. Standing Committee; Public Accounts Committee; Coir Board; Civil aviation Consultative Committee; and Joint Parliamentary Committee on Pesticides in Soft Drinks and Fruit Drinks. Other important positions held include - KPCC President, AICC Secretary, Indian Youth Congress National President, President- Pradesh Youth Congress (I) Kerala.
In 2005, he returned to the State politics to become President of Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee. In 2011, for the third time he was re-elected as MLA from Haripad Constituency. In 2014, he was sworn in as the Home Minister of Kerala. His "Operation Kubera" project was intended to stop the reign of illegal money lenders in the State . "Clean campus safe campus" project was to stop the usage of drugs in campus
On January 8th 2019 , while addressing media in Thiruvananthapuram , Chennithala stated that his decision to appoint Senkumar as DGP was "the biggest mistake of my life and I regret the decision," .
Chennithala added that Senkumar was made DGP overruling another officer and the decision proved wrong.
"We all are bearing the burden of this decision. I took the decision thinking let a Malayali become the DGP. But now, I regret it," he added. He had earlier criticized the chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan for removing SenKumar from the post on numerous occasions. His public apology comes months later when Senkumar's extreme right wing ideals are public. 
He shared dais with Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan at a joint protest organised by the ruling CPM-led LDF . Echoing Pinarayi's views on the CAA , leader of the opposition Ramesh Chennithala said he has moved a petition challenging the Act. 
This led to a feud between him and KPCC President Mullappally Ramachandran who opposed this. However KPCC vice-president VD Satheesan, MLA, stated that the protest against CAA and the proposed National Register of Citizens (NRC) was a fight for a common cause.
Sources in the Congress said the closing of the ranks of ‘I’ and ‘A’ groups is aimed at sidelining Mullappally, who is yet to finalise the KPCC functionaries even after a year under his leadership. The list of office-bearers is still pending before the high command for final nod. “Both the factions are not interested in Mullappally getting a role in major affairs, as the state assembly elections are just a year away,” said a source. 
Ramesh Chennithala holds the record of being the youngest minister in the state at the age of 29.
- Minister of Rural Development in Third K. Karunakaran ministry from 1986 - 1987.
- Minister of Home Affairs in Second Oommen Chandy ministry from 2014 - 2016.
After the 2016 Kerala election, he became the Leader of Opposition of the state.
Leader of OppositionEdit
A meeting held by the Congress leaders on 29 May 2016, chose Ramesh Chennithala as the Leader of Opposition of Kerala Niyamasabha. Under his leadership the UDF emerged victorious in 2019 Indian general election by winning 19 out of 20 seats in Kerala. This was their biggest victory in the elections after the 1977 election.
- Parlement of India
- "Ramesh Chennithala elected as new opposition leader". Times of India. 29 May 2016. Retrieved 30 May 2016.
- "Ramesh Chennithala-keralaassembly.org".
- "KERALA LEGISLATURE - MEMBERS".
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