The second consecutive term of the Pinarayi Vijayan cabinet has assumed office today in a historic swearing – in ceremony. Interestingly, this cabinet stands out for having two classmates, who are close friends too. K Rajan, who was a law student at the Law Academy in Thiruvananthapuram in the 1997 – 2000 batch has assumed office as the revenue minister while Roshy Augustine, who had studied in the same batch was sworn in as the minister for water resources. Their classmates have fond memories of the ministers who had earned praise as feisty student leaders at the Law Academy. They hope that the friends serve the public with honesty and dedication, just as they had done when they were young leaders.
Rajan is the son of Ramani, a native of Kothamukku near Veliankodu in Ponnani, Malappuram. The minister has spent his childhood and teenage days in the quaint countryside of Kothamukku. Though he moved to his father’s ancestral home in Anthikad in Thrissur, Rajan used to regularly visit his mother’s place where he grew up. By that time, Rajan had become a firebrand student leader. Rajan made sure to keep his friendships alive even when he became the member of the legislative assembly and was the chief whip too. His friends think that his great respect for friendship and camaraderie would make Rajan a great minister, who could see and understand the hearts of the common people.
Roshy Augustine was the glamorous star of the Law Academy. As a young student, he worked closely with the state president of the KSC, the student wing of Kerala Congress and other prominent leaders of KSC like Abraham P Mathew, Jijo George and Joby Puthukulangara. The amazing evenings at the college, the MLA hostel, and canteen and at Palayalam had earned the young leader countless friends and acquaintances. Roshy won the assembly election and became an MLA soon after he completed his course. A person who values friendship, Roshy is the one who often takes the initiative to organize ‘get together’ of former classmates. Roshy rose to one of the prominent political figures in Kerala as he won five consecutive elections. Now, as a minister of the Left Democratic Front, Roshy could utilize his vast experiences to really bring a positive change.
Besides Rajan and Roshy, IB Satheesh who is Kattakada MLA too had studied in the same batch. Last time, ATV Rajesh, representative of Kalyaserry constituency had joined them in the assembly. However, Rajesh didn’t contest this time, as he had already completed two consecutive terms. Rajesh had caught eye when he was a member of SFI and later as an able leader during his days in DYFI. Interestingly, things would be easier for ministers Rajan and Roshy as Dinesh Puthalathu, who studied in the same class, has been appointed as the Chief Minister’s political secretary.
It indeed is a spectacular fete that more than thirty members of the current legislative assembly have been former students of the prestigious Law Academy.
The new team of ministers has been chosen solely on the basis of merit and their dedication to public service. The former students of the Law Academy are thrilled that some of their close friends would be part of the ministry and the assembly. Kerala has witnessed an unusual protest, especially in the cyber space, when some of the MLA’s, who had excelled as ministers in the previous ministry, were not included in the latest cabinet. However, the same party that had entrusted them with the responsibilities last time had decided to give chance to a new team. The new ministers would have to work extra hard to ensure the people, who had given them one more chance, that the latter’s decision stands validated.