Antony Raju: From coast to cabinet

Antony Raju: From coast to cabinet
Antony Raju with wife Gracy, children Dr Roshni and Rohan.

Antony Raju's political career has been a roller-coaster ride. He had contested from the same constituency five times and was defeated three times.

In the recent Assembly poll, Raju, 67, won the Thiruvananthapuram constituency.

Born to S Alphonse and T Lourdamma in a poor family from the fisher community, Raju was the unit president of Kerala Students' Congress (KSC), the students' wing of Kerala Congress, in St Xavier's College, Thumba, and Mar Ivanios College, Thiruvananthapuram. After graduating in Law from the Kerala Law Academy Law College, he enrolled as an advocate in 1982.

The coastal region has been Raju's support base. He contested a poll for the first time from Shanghumugham division to the erstwhile district council. Shanghumugham is part of the Thiruvananthapuram Assembly constituency.

His first attempt to reach the Assembly went in vain as he lost to M M Hassan of the Congress in Thiruvananthapuram West in 1991. Raju exacted revenge the next time by defeating Hassan. However, he lost again in 2001, this time to M V Raghavan.

He was not fielded in the next two Assembly polls due to controversies over his legal career. In 2016, Raju of the Janadhipathya Kerala Congress lost to V S Sivakumar, but bounced back this time by defeating the same Congress leader. Gracy is Raju's wife. They have two children, Dr Roshni (Karakonam Medical College) and MBBS student Rohan.

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