Avid reader, Maradona fan: Meet M B Rajesh, the new Speaker of Kerala Assembly

After politics and writing, M B Rajesh loves football. An ardent fan of the football legend Maradona, Rajesh would now have to play the role of a referee as he assumes charge as the Speaker of the Kerala Assembly.

Listens carefully to the opposing opinion, argues when argument is necessary, rectifies own mistakes - that's Rajesh's brand of politics. Even when he opposes, Rajesh does not hurt anyone with his words. Therefore, it can be assumed that Rajesh would conduct the House proceedings as an assiduous Speaker.

As someone who had previously watched the House proceedings only from the visitors' gallery, Rajesh has become the Speaker in his very first Assembly term. But neither Rajesh nor the CPM would be apprehensive about it. For, the entire country had seen his functioning as a Parliamentarian for 10 years. He also clearly knows the strengths and potential of the opposition. 

Rajesh made his entry to politics with the Students' Federation of India (SFI). Rajesh succeeds Ponnani native P Sreeramakrishnan, the Speaker of the previous Assembly. Incidentally, Sreeramakrishnan too had a role to play in identifying the politician in Rajesh. He was senior to Rajesh at the NSS College in Ottapalam, and this continued as they became part of the SFI and DYFI, and finally in the Assembly. 

Though he grew up in a family of Congress supporters, the street protests of Kerala nurtured the politician in young Rajesh. And he went on to become the national president of the DYFI. Ninitha Kanichery, who was with him in the forefront of agitations, became his life partner.

MB Rajesh: The first-timer who would steer the Assembly
M B Rajesh with wife Ninitha Kanicherry and daughters Niranjana and Priyadatta.

Not just in victory, Rajesh also set an example even in his defeat. When he lost the 2019 Lok Sabha polls in Palakkad, Rajesh invited the victorious V K Sreekandan to his home to congratulate him on his win.

Even amid his hectic schedule, Rajesh found time to read more books. Though he wanted to stay out of the poll fray this time, he contested from Thrithala when the party asked him to.

One of his books is titled 'Nishabadarayirikkan entu avakasham' (roughly titles to 'what right do we have to remain silent'). In the Assembly where the ruling front has a large majority, Kerala awaits to hear from Speaker M B Rajesh.

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