Vayalar Ravi | india | Hindustan Times
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Vayalar Ravi

A staunch Nehruvian and believer of 'reforms with a human face', ministerial positions had often eluded his long career.

india Updated: Jan 29, 2006 22:44 IST
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A staunch Nehruvian and believer of 'reforms with a human face', ministerial positions had often eluded his long career while he found a place in the powerful Congress Working Committee (CWC) as early as the 1970s.

Born in a middle class family in Vayalar village (famed for the Communist-led uprising of the 1940s) in Alappuzha district, Ravi began his career as founder president of the Congress' students wing Kerala Students Union (KSU) in the early 1960s.

He later led the Youth Congress in the state and played a key role with AK Antony in building Congress as a mass force in Kerala by attracting people from all classes and social groups to the party.

The 1969 split in the Congress made Ravi a nationally-known figure as a 'Young Turk' staunchily backing the left-of-the-centre policies of Indira Gandhi. He was elected to the Lok Sabha in 1971 and 1977.

Elected to the Kerala Assembly in 1982 and 1987, Ravi served as state home minister in 1982 to 1986.

Though a key figure of the anti-Karunakaran axis for long, Ravi had a brief stint in the Karunakaran camp in early 1990s. But he soon returned to his traditional moorings as a vocal critic of Karunakaran.

A keen trade unionist, Ravi founded several central government staff and PSUs unions and has served on important labour-related panels at the Centre.

Now a Rajya Sabha member, Ravi had served as AICC general secretary and KPCC president. His wife Mercy Ravi is a member of the Kerala Assembly.