New Delhi: It was a meteroic rise for Vellamvelly Muraleedharan, who was sworn in as minister of state with Independent charge in the second term of Narendra Modi cabinet.
Beginning his political innings as an activist of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) in 1975 during the Emergency, Muraleedharan, hails from the port town of Thalassery in the politcally volatile Kannur district, which has often seen clashes between CPI(M) and BJP workers.
Appointed the state Organising secretary of ABVP in 1983 at the age of 25, he went on to hold various responsibilities in the students union, including All India General Secretary of ABVP from 1994-96. He had also served as BJP Kerala state president for two terms.
A Rajya Sabha MP from Maharashtra, Muraleedharan is the General Secretary in-charge of Andhra Pradesh.
Among the various positions he had held so far are Director General Nehru Yuvak Kendra and All India general secretary of ABVP
A good orator, who often doubles up as an interpretor for party big wigs during their visit to Kerala, Muraleedharan is credited with strengthening the party at its grassroot level in the state.
His formal entry into the BJP took place during the 1998 Lok Sabha elections when he was deputed to assist Venkaiah Naidu at the BJP Central Election Control Room at New Delhi.
In 1999, after the Atal Behari Vajpayee government assumed office, Muraleedharan was appointed as the Vice Chairman of Nehru Yuva Kendra, under Department of Youth Affairs and Sports, Government of India. From 2002 to 2004 he was the Director General of Nehru Yuva Kendra.
Coming back to state politcs, Muraleedharan was the Vice-President of state BJP from 2006 and subsequently served as state president in 2010 and 2013 and continued in the post till 2015.
Though he tried his luck to Lok Sabha from Kozhikode in 2009, he lost. He became a Rajya Sabha MP from Maharasthra in 2018.
Talking to reporters here shortly before he left for Prime Minister's Hi-Tea, Muraleedharan said he was a party worker and would fulfil the duty entrusted by it.
Kerala had witnessed massive protests after the LDF government decided to implement the apex court verdict of September 28 allowing women and girls of mentstrual age to offer prayers at the Ayyappa temple.
BJP had hoped it would be able to reap rich dividends in the polls riding on the Sabarimala women entry issue. The party failed to win even a single seat in Kerala.