Early life and Education
Pinarayi Vijayan was born as the youngest son of Maroli Koran and Kalyani on 21st March 1944. After successfully completing his schooling from Pinarayi Saradavilasam Lower Primary School and Peralassery High School, Pinarayi Vijayan worked as a handloom weaver for a year. In 1962, he joined the Government Brennen College, Thalassery for pre university studies. From 1964, he did his Bachelor of Arts studies in Economics.
Pinarayi Vijayan was a member of the Kerala Students Federation and was very active in the students’ movement during his college days. He has served as the president of KSF and Kerala State Youth Federation (KSYF). Pinarayi Vijayan joined the Communist Party of India (Marxist) in 1964. In 1968, at the age of 24, he was elected to the Kannur district committee of CPI(M). Four years later he became a member of the Kannur district secretariat. Pinarayi Vijayan was elected to the CPI(M) Kerala state committee in 1978. He was elected as the CPI(M) Kannur district secretary in 1986.
Pinarayi Vijayan has been a member of CPI(M) state secretariat since 1988. He was elected as the Kerala state secretary of CPI(M) in 1998 following the demise of the then state secretary Chadayan Govindan and remained in that position till 2015. Pinarayi Vijayan has been a member of the Polit Bureau of CPI(M) since 2002.
Pinarayi Vijayan had led the KSF in various protests. After resigning from the position of President of KSF in 1967, Pinarayi Vijayan became the Thalassery mandalam secretary of CPI(M). He was in the forefront of defending the Dinesh cooperative society when the goons deployed by the owners of Ganesh Bidi Company, Mangalore attacked the workers. Pinarayi Vijayan’s as the then Koothuparamba MLA, played an important role in relieving the communal tensions that prevailed during the Thalassery riots of 1971. His efforts have been lauded by Justice Vithayathil’s report, in the 220th paragraph. Pinarayi Vijayan had to face brutal custodial violence from the police during the dark days of National Emergency. Following his release, he delivered a legendary speech in the legislative assembly waving his blood stained shirt, about the savagery he and others had to face.
In 1970, he represented the Koothuparamba legislative constituency after defeating Thayath Raghavan of Praja Socialist Party. Due to the declaration of national emergency, the next round of elections to the legislative assembly was delayed until 1977. Pinarayi Vijayan contested and won from Koothuparamba again, this time defeating Abdulkadar of Revolutionary Socialist Party. He raised the winning margin to 4401 votes in his second electoral battle. In 1991, he contested again from Koothuparamba and won with a margin of 13060 votes defeating P Ramakrishnan of Indian National Congress.
In the 1996 assembly elections, Pinarayi Vijayan contested from Payyannur legislative constituency and defeated K.N. Kannoth of Indian National Congress by a margin of 28078 votes. He was the electricity and co-operation minister in the E. K. Nayanar ministry formed in 1996. In the 2016 elections to the legislative assembly, Pinarayi Vijayan won from Dharmadom constituency by defeating Mambaram Divakaran by a margin of 36905 votes and became the 12th Chief Minister of Kerala.
As a Minister and leader of Cooperatives
During Pinarayi Vijayan’s tenure as the Power and Cooperation Minister in the LDF Government from 1996, the state witnessed a phenomenal increase in power generation. Significant enhancement was achieved in distribution capacity of the state’s various power projects, thus ushering in a new era in its electricity sector. His administrative acumen and experience as a well grounded politician who understood the needs of people, helped him to introduce various revolutionary initiatives in the state cooperative sector. He was president of the Kannur District Cooperative Bank from 1983 to 1992. Pinarayi Vijayan was the guiding spirit behind the formation of RUBCO as well.