Kannur district is the launch pad for the political career of K.C. Venugopal, the newly inducted Minister of State for Power in United Progressive Alliance (UPA) Ministry, though he has adopted and nurtured Alappuzha as his constituency.
For Mr. Venugopal, Kannur has not been his political gravitational field ever since he politically relocated himself to Alappuzha following his election victory from the Alappuzha Assembly constituency in 1996. His success in the two Assembly elections in 2001 and 2006 and his election to the Lok Sabha in the 2009 Parliament election have only completed the process of his political expatriation.
However, he always kept in touch with his home district. The 48-year-old Congress leader, who served as Minister for Tourism and Devaswom in the United Democratic Front (UDF) government during 2004-06, began his political career when he was a student of the Payyannur College here.
Since then he has been on a right trajectory of political career in his party. From being a president of the Payyannur College unit of the Kerala Students Union (KSU) to his induction in the Union Cabinet, it was a long journey for a leader of his age. In between he served as State president of the KSU (1987-92) and the Youth Congress (1992-2000), among others.
A post-graduate in mathematics, Mr. Venugopal owes his rapid political evolution to the late leader K. Karunakaran. His loyalty to the leader when the latter was at the helm of Congress affairs in the State helped him step on the political ladder without much ado.
Mr. Venugopal was also a volleyball player during his college days. He played for the Payyannur College and the Calicut University.
Mr. Venugopal's supporters here say that though he has moved to Alappuzha, he took personal interest in various tourism projects in his home district when he was Tourism Minister. The Town Square here, the renovated Gandhi Park at Payyannur, approval of the proposals for development of beaches in the district and the eco-tourism project for Paithalmala are some among them, they say.
His supporters in the party here celebrated his elevation by distributing sweets. They cut a cake at the district Congress office here.