Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan’s decision to appoint his own son-in-law as a minister in the cabinet has now fuelled a major controversy in the southern state.
On Tuesday, the LDF-led government, which retained power in the state after winning the recently held polls, announced its new cabinet causing surprise to many. The Pinarayi Vijayan-led government decided to drop all of its ministers, including the incumbent health minister Shailaja Teacher to appoint fresh faces into his cabinet.
Among the ‘young’ fresh faces who have been appointed as the ministers are Pinarayi Vijayan’s son-in-law Mohammed Riyaz. Mohammed Riyaz, who contested and won from the Beyopre constituency was given a cabinet berth by father-in-law and CM Pinarayi Vijayan.
It is also pertinent to note that Mohammed Riyaz, who is the Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI) chief, has an extremely controversial past. Mohammed Riyaz, who rose through the ranks in the Left serving in the Students’ Federation of India, the DYFI, and then CPI-M, has been accused of orchestrating violence in Kerala.
In fact, in March this year, Riyaz was sent to judicial custody for orchestrating violence near the Air India office in Kozhikode to protest against the air tariff hike and reduction in the flight services by the national carrier. A case was registered against four people, including Rajesh, for breaking the law after the DYFI protests had turned violent. The two accused, including Pinarayi Vijayan’s son-in-law Mohammed Riyaz, was later granted bail in the case.
Mohammed Riyaz is married to Pinarayi Vijayan’s daughter Veena. The couple married last year in a private ceremony. Riyaz is infamous for leading ‘beef cooking’ protests after the center sought to regulate cattle purchase and sale. He had also unsuccessfully contested for the Kozhikode Lok Sabha seat in 2019.