Thiruvananthapuram: Veteran Congress leader V M Sudheeran took charge as the Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) president at a party event held at the Indira Bhavan here on Tuesday.
Sudheeran, former Speaker and health minister, replaces Ramesh Chennithala, who was inducted in the Oommen Chandy Cabinet as home minister recently.
The Congress leadership on Monday nominated Sudheeran to lead the party while it named VD Satheeshan, an MLA and a follower of Sudheeran, for the post of vice president.
He also took charge along with Sudheeran at the same event here.
Sudheeran, who was born in Anthikkad in Thrissur district, became president of the Kerala Students Union, the students’ wing of Congress at a young age in 1971. He became the president of the state unit of the Youth Congress in 1975 and was nominated as national general secretary in 1977. He was elected to Parliament in 1977 from the Alappuzha constituency. He was elected member in the Kerala Legislative Assembly four times beginning from 1980. In 1985, he became Speaker of the Assembly and was minister for health in the A K Antony ministry in 1995.
The decision to appoint him as party’s chief came as a surprise to the party’s state unit as chief minister Oommen Chandy and Ramesh Chennithala had strongly resisted his posting.
Both, Chandy and Chennithala lobbied for Speaker G Karthikeyan.
Sudheeran is a veteran leader from Alappuzha, who belongs to the OBC Ezhava community.