Legislators of the Kerala Assembly today elected senior Congress leader G Karthikeyan as the Speaker of the House. Karthikeyan has received 73 votes including that of the nominated Anglo-Indian member, while his opponent A K Balan (CPI-M) could secure 68 votes. All 141 members of the 13th Assembly took part in the election process and no cross voting or invalid votes were reported.
For the first time in the history of the Kerala Assembly, pro-tem Speaker, N Shakthan has also cast his vote. The opposition criticised this saying this was against the tradition and precedents of the House.
The new Speaker G Karthikeyan was born on January 20, 1949 at Varkala in Thiruvananthapuram district.
Entering politics through students’ movement, he later served as the treasurer, general secretary and president of the Kerala Students Union (KSU). He was also the student member of the Kerala University senate and secretary of the Kerala University Union. Later, he became the general secretary and president of the state unit of the Youth Congress.
In 1982, he was elected to the Assembly for the first time, Thiruvananthapuram North constituency. He was an MLA in 1991, 1996, 2001 and 2006 from Aryanad constituency in Thiruvananthapuram district.
Karthikeyan served as the minister for power in 1995 and again as the minister for food and civil supplies in 2001 in the ministries headed by A K Antony. He was also the deputy leader of the opposition during 2006-11. Now he represents Aruvikkara Assembly segment in Thiruvananthapuram.
He was also, at different times, the general secretary and vice president of Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC). He is married to MT Sulekha, former controller of examinations of the University of Kerala, and they have two sons.