VT Balram is an Indian politician who represented the Thrithala State Assembly constituency in Kerala from 2011-2021. He is a member of the Indian National Congress (INC) and vice president of the Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC).
VT Balram was born on Sunday, 21 May 1978 (age 44 years; as of 2022) in Othalur near Thrithala in Palakkad District, Kerala. He completed his schooling at Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya, Palakkad, Kerala & Pachpahar, Jhalawar District, Rajasthan. He is a BSc Chemistry graduate from Sree Krishna College, Guruvayur, Thrissur (1998). Balram then pursued a B.Tech in EEE(Electrical and Electronics Engineering) from the Government Engineering College, Thrissur, Kerala (2002). He completed a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) from the Government Law College, Thrissur (2009). Balram completed his Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) at the University of Calicut – Department of Commerce and Management Studies (2005). Balram was the editor of KSU State Kalasala during 2007-2008.
Hair Colour: Black
Eye Colour: Black
VT Balram’s family hails from Othalur near Thrithala in Palakkad District, Kerala.
Parents & Siblings
His father, K. Sreenarayanan, was a retired Upper Primary School teacher, who passed away on 11 December 2019; His mother’s name was V.T. Saraswathy.
Wife & Children
VT Balram is married to Anupama Balram; a Govt. High School Teacher. He has a son and a daughter; His son’s name is Advaith Manav and his daughter’s name is Avanthika.
VT Balram with his wife, Anupama
Balram has enrolled both his children, at the Arikkad Government LP School, Thrithala (Palakkad), Kerala. He refused to fill the religion column and told that there is no default religion for his children.
VT Balram with his children
Rathnalayam, Otalur. P.O Thrithala (via) Palakkad -679534
VT Balram was a member of the Kerala Students Union (KSU), the student wing of the Indian National Congress in the state, from his college days. Balram, in 1998, became University Union Councillor at the Sree Krishna College, Guruvayur, Kerala. During his time at the Government Engineering College, Thrissur (2002), VT Balram, for a second time, became the University Union Councillor. He was a Senate member at Calicut University during 1999–2000 and from 2006–2007. He is one of Congress’s youth politicians, who have been vocal about the shortcomings and authoritarianism of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) and has outrightly opposed the Hindutva ideology propagated by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). He was appointed State Secretary of the Youth Congress (the youth wing of the Indian National Congress) in Kerala during 2009-2010. Balram was elected as the Youth Congress’s (Kerala) State General Secretary in 2010 and held the position for three years (2010-2013).
VT Balram with Rahul Gandhi during the Bharat Jodo Yatra
Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA)
In 2011, Balram was announced as the United Democratic Front (UDF) candidate from the Thrithala Assembly constituency in Palakkad, Kerala. Thrithala had been a CPI(M) stronghold for over two decades, with the Congress recording its previous victory in 1987. Balram, on his debut election (2011 Kerala Legislative Assembly election), defeated the Communist Party of India (Marxist)’s Mammikutty by around 3000 votes, regaining the constituency for the Congress after 20 years of the LDF rule. He retained his seat in the 2016 Kerala Legislative Assembly election; however, in 2021, he lost to CPI(M)’s MB Rajesh, former MP of Palakkad who was then appointed as the 23rd Speaker of the Kerala Legislative Assembly and later a Minister in the Second Pinarayi Vijayan ministry. Balram lost to MB Rajesh by over 2000 votes ending his 10-year (2011-2021) term as the MLA of the Thrithala Assembly constituency. During his time as a Member of the Legislative Assembly, Balram convinced the State government to grant a government college in his constituency. Balram was the architect behind the plan to establish the two skill development institutions in the Thrithala constituency. The Kaushal Kendra and the community skill park in the Thrithala constituency were implemented during his tenure. The Pattambi taluk in the Palakkad district, Kerala, was formed during his time as the MLA of the region.
VT Balram addressing a protest after the police resorted to lathi-charge
- 2 charges related to Voluntarily causing hurt to deter a public servant from his duty (IPC Section-332)
- 1 charge related to Punishment for criminal intimidation (IPC Section-506)
- 1 charge related to an Attempt to commit culpable homicide (IPC Section-308)
Cases Where Convicted
- 3 charges related to Punishment for Being a member of an unlawful assembly (IPC Section-143)
- 3 charges related to Punishment for Rioting (IPC Section-147)
- 3 charges related to Every member of unlawful assembly guilty of an offence committed in prosecution of a common object (IPC Section-149)
- 2 charges related to Rioting, armed with a deadly weapon (IPC Section-148)
- 2 charges related to Danger or obstruction in public way or line of navigation (IPC Section-283)
- 1 charge related to Assault or criminal force to deter a public servant from discharge of his duty (IPC Section-353)
- 1 charge related to Joining or continuing in unlawful assembly, knowing it has been commanded to disperse (IPC Section-145)
Controversial comment on Communist Icon and Leader A K Gopalan (AKG)
VT Balram stirred up a hornet’s nest in 2018 when he made obnoxious remarks about the late A K Gopalan, a Communist icon and the Leader of the Opposition in the first Lok Sabha. Through a Facebook post, Balram insinuated that AKG was a paedophile who fell in love with a girl many years younger than him while he was legally married to his first wife. Balram’s comment did not go down well with the CPI(M)’s leaders and party workers. CPI(M)’s senior leaders like Pinarayi Vijayan, Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, M M Mani, and Kadakampally Surendran harshly criticised the Congress MLA, questioning whether it was like the Congress Party to insult great leaders like A K Gopalan and demanded that Balram should apologise for his comments. He was not backed by his leaders and former Chief Minister of Kerala and veteran Congress leader Oommen Chandy, the then Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee President, M M Hassan, and the then Opposition Leader Ramesh Chennithala were among the prominent Congress leaders, who disregarded Balram’s comments and insisted that it was not in line with the culture of the Congress party to insult or portray someone like A K Gopalan in such manner. They reiterated that the Congress party does not approve of such statements. The Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI) workers vandalized VT Balram’s MLA office in Thrithala, following his remarks on AKG. Balram refused to apologise for his comments but confirmed that he wish to put an end to the incident. CPM’s protest was by completely boycotting VT Balram in Thrithala. In an interview, Balram told that he was not invited to any official events in the panchayats ruled by the CPIM since 2018 after he made the comments about A K Gopalan. During the 2021 Kerala Legislative Assembly election, the Communist Party of India (Marxist) highlighted Balram’s remarks on AKG as part of their election campaign in the Thrithala Assembly constituency; where Balram faced MB Rajesh of CPI(M) for his third term as the MLA of the constituency. VT Balram was not ready to apologise for his comments about AKG, even when he was singled out by the Congress leadership. He changed his stance during the campaign for the 2021 legislative assembly election. In an interview, Balram said that he acknowledged the revolutionary A K Gopalan and then used AKG and his politics to attack the CPI(M) leadership and its flaws. CPI(M)’s MB Rajesh, dedicated the victory to AKG and took a jibe at Balram. Balram has also criticised Kerala’s first Chief Minister and Communist icon Elamkulam Manakkal Sankaran Namboodiripad (EMS) and other senior CPI(M) leaders and found himself at odds with the leftist sections of Kerala.
Verbal battle on social media with K R Meera
In 2019, following the political murders of two Youth Congress workers in Kasargod, Kerala (Periya double murder) allegedly by the CPI(M) workers, VT Balram lashed out at the state’s literary circles and criticised that they have taken a double standard on the murder case; to which the Kerala Sahitya Akademi Award-winning novelist replied via her Facebook handle. Meera earlier had posted an emotional Facebook post, recalling her time as a journalist and how hard it was for her to face the families of the deceased and criticised different political parties for their roles in the murders that have been happening in the state for a long time. However, certain Congress party workers criticised she was being soft on the CPI(M) and Balram personally called out Meera on her silence; this led to a series of a verbal spar between the two and things took a nasty turn when a comment made by the then MLA in a rather offensive tone acted as an invitation for a section of the agitated Congress party workers who took to the social media page of the author and abused her. Meera, in her reply post following the cyber attacks, mentioned the profane words used by the Congress workers and called out VT Balram. This online fallout was condemned by the CPI(M) leaders and other popular literary figures in the state. K R Meera, in 2021, joined an election campaign for CPI(M)’s MB Rajesh who contested against VT Balram in the State Legislative Assembly elections and defeated him.
Assets & Properties
- Deposits in Banks, Financial Institutions and Non-Banking Financial Companies: Rs. 9,78,402
- Bonds, Debentures and Shares in companies: Rs. 15,000
- Motor Vehicles: Rs. 11,82,396
- Agricultural Land: Rs. 2,40,000
- Non-Agricultural Land: Rs. 4,60,000
- Residential Buildings: Rs. 9,16,666
Note: The given estimates of movable and immovable assets are according to the year 2021. It excludes the assets owned by his wife and dependents (minor).
In 2021, Balram’s net worth was estimated to be Rs. 41,47,000.
Note: It excludes the net worth of his wife and dependents (minors).
- Balram supported the Brazil national football team in the FIFA 2022 Qatar World Cup.
- He loves reading and cartooning; prefers travelling during his leisure time.
- Balram owns a Toyota Innova Crysta (Diesel) Automatic.
VT Balram with his car