New Delhi: Former Kerala BJP president V Muraleedharan was sworn in as a minister of state in the second Narendra Modi government on Thursday (May 30).

Born in a Congress family in Thalassery, Kerala's Kannur district, Muraleedharan joined the Akil Bharathiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) during his school days.

This is for the first time a Kerala BJP leader is being sworn in along with the prime minister. Earlier, O Rajagopal and KJ Alphons Kannanthanam had joined the Atal  Bihari Vajpayee and Modi ministries respectively after a long wait.

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Muraleedharan, after quitting his government job, became a Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) pracharak. Later he was deputed by the RSS to head the students’ wing in the state. He was then the ABVP’s state organising secretary and became its national general secretary. This reportedly encouraged him and created to have an excellent rapport with the party and the RSS cadre across Kerala.

After becoming the Kerala BJP president, Muraleedharan undertook a ‘padayatra’ from Kasaragod to Thiruvananthapuram which helped him connect with the other party leaders and workers across the state.

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It is also claimed that Muraleedharan enjoys a total support of the RSS. It is also reported that the Sangh forwarded his name to the BJP’s central leadership.

On Thursday morning, there were reports that former Mizoram Governor Kummanam Rajasekharan and Kannanthanam would get a berth in PM Modi’s Cabinet. Rajasekharan had earlier said that he was not going to the swearing-in ceremony. But there are talks that he might be given a ministry. However, both were sidelined as the first choice.