BJP Adds Two Kerala Leaders to Modi Cabinet

This decision is seen as an effort to break the bipolar political landscape in the state
BJP Adds Two Kerala Leaders to Modi Cabinet

In a strategic move ahead of the 2026 Kerala Assembly elections, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has inducted actor-politician Suresh Gopi and veteran party functionary George Kurian into Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Cabinet. This decision is seen as an effort to break the bipolar political landscape in the state.

Suresh Gopi, aged 66, made history as the BJP's first Member of Parliament (MP) from Kerala in the Lok Sabha. He was sworn in as a Union Minister of State on Sunday, despite initial uncertainties. Gopi previously served as a nominated member of the Rajya Sabha from 2016 to 2022 and contested unsuccessfully in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections and the 2021 Assembly polls.

Gopi, who belongs to the forward Nair community, completed his schooling at Infant Jesus Anglo-Indian School in Tangasseri and pursued higher studies at Fatima Mata National College, Kollam, earning a BSc in Zoology and an MA in English Language and Literature. As a renowned actor, he has appeared in over 250 films, primarily in Malayalam and other South Indian languages. His performance in the film "Kaliyattam" earned him the National Film Award and the Kerala State Film Award for Best Actor in 1998. Currently, he serves as the president of the Satyajit Ray Film and Television Institute in Kolkata

In a surprising move, George Kurian, aged 63, has also been appointed as a Union Minister. Despite not being a member of the Lok Sabha or the Rajya Sabha, Kurian’s induction is seen as an attempt by the BJP to strengthen its presence among Kerala’s Christian community. Kurian, a member of the Syrian Catholic denomination, has been a dedicated BJP member since its inception and holds the position of State general secretary.

Kurian’s political journey includes serving as vice chairman of the National Commission for Minorities, a member of the BJP national executive committee, and national vice-president of the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha. He has also been the district president of the BJP's Kottayam unit. In the 2016 Assembly elections, he contested from Puthuppally, a Congress stronghold, and has also been nominated to the Kottayam and Idukki Lok Sabha constituencies. Kurian, a lawyer with a degree in Hindi, served as an Officer on Special Duty for former Union Minister of State for Railways O. Rajagopal during A.B. Vajpayee’s tenure as Prime Minister. He is married to O.T. Annamma, a retired Lt. Colonel from the Naval Base in Kochi.

The inclusion of Gopi and Kurian in the Cabinet is seen as a tactical move by the BJP to broaden its appeal and strengthen its political base in Kerala ahead of the crucial 2026 Assembly elections.