Dr. O. Rajagopal
|Member of the Kerala Legislative Assembly|
19 May 2016 – 2 May 2021
|Preceded by||V. Sivankutty|
|Succeeded by||V. Sivankutty|
|Minister of State for Defence and Parliamentary Affairs, Urban Development, Law, Justice and Company Affairs, Railways|
13 October 1999 – 22 May 2004
|Prime Minister||Atal Bihari Vajpayee|
|Member of Parliament, Rajya Sabha|
1992 – 2004
|Born||15 September 1929|
Palakkad, Madras Presidency, British India
(present day Palakkad, Kerala, India)
|Political party||Bharatiya Janata Party|
|Spouse(s)||Dr. Shantha Kumari|
|Children||2 (incl. Shyamaprasad)|
Olanchery Rajagopal (born 15 September 1929) is an Indian politician, former Union Minister of State, and the former MLA from Nemom and the first Bharatiya Janata Party member & BJP's floor leader in the Legislative Assembly of Kerala. One of the major leaders of the Bharatiya Janata Party from Kerala, he has held various ministerial portfolios including Defence, Parliamentary Affairs, Urban Development, Law, Justice, Company Affairs, and Railways. Rajagopal was a two-time MP in Rajya Sabha, the upper house of Indian Parliament from 1992 till 2004. O.Rajagopal was also a member of Government of Kerala's Legislative Assembly Committee on Petitions & Committee of Public Work, Transport and Communications.
In addition, he was the first BJP Central Minister from Kerala and was also served as the BJP parliamentary party deputy leader in the Rajya Sabha. Rajagopal was also the former BJP national vice president & state president of BJP in Kerala. Rajagopal lost the 2014 Loksabha elections in the Thiruvananthapuram constituency by a narrow margin of 13000 votes after a close fight. He has also lost few assembly elections by a low margin.
Union Government planned to make O Rajagopal as the next State Governor of Goa after his term ends as an MLA in the Kerala Legislative Assembly in May 2021. But he give away the offer later by Central govt that allows another Kerala BJP leader PS Sreedharan Pillai who is then Governor of Mizoram is transferred to Goa as the new Governor.
He was born on 15 September 1929 to Pandalam Kunnathu Madhavan Nair and O. Konhikkavu Amma of Olanchery Veedu in Pudukkode Panchayath in Palakkad. He is the eldest of the six children born to his parents. His early education took place in Kanakkannoor elementary school and Manjapra Upper Primary school and later went to Government Victoria College, Palakkad.
Jana Sangh work
He was inspired by Deendayal Upadhyaya and began working in the Bharatiya Jana Sangh, shortly after completing his studies. The death of Upadhyaya in 1968 spurred Rajagopal to pursue his public career more deeply. He was the State General Secretary of Jana Sangh until 1974. That same year, he was promoted to the post of President, a post he held until 1977.
During the Emergency period he was jailed with V. Velankutty, who was the Palakkad District President of Jana Sangh in Viyyur Central Jail. After the Indian Emergency, the Jana Sangh merged with the Janata Party. During this period of time Rajagopal served as the State General Secretary for the Jana Sangh.
In 1980, the Janata Party split and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was formed. Rajagopal then served as its Kerala president until 1985. After 1985 he occupied a number of positions, including the All India Secretary, General Secretary, and the Vice-President of BJP. In 1989 he ran for a Lok Sabha from Manjeri but lost. Two years later, he contested in Thiruvananthapuram seat and lost again. His next run took place in the state of Madhya Pradesh. He was elected in 1992 and 1998 to the Rajya Sabha. In 1999 he attempted a second run from Thiruvananthapuram but failed again. However, he got a total of 1,58,221 votes (20.9%) and came second in one assembly segment out of seven. The total number of votes he secured was much higher than that for the previous BJP candidate in 1998 (94,303 votes, 12.3%)  and 1996 (74,904, 10.4%) Lok Sabha elections.
In 2004 Lok Sabha election, he contested for the third time from Thiruvananthapuram and finished third yet again, behind INC candidate V. S Shivakumar and CPI candidate P. K. Vasudevan Nair. He secured a total of 2,28,052 votes (29.9%) which was the highest votes secured by a BJP candidate in Kerala.
In the 2011 Assembly elections he contested from the Nemom constituency in Thiruvananthapuram, but eventually lost by a margin of 6,400 votes. He lost the by-election from Neyyattinkara, which was held on 2 June 2012. However, he increased the BJP votes from 6,730 (2011 Assembly Election) to 30,507; an almost five-fold increase within a span of a year. The BJP vote share also significantly increased from 6.0% in the 2011 election to 23.2%. He contested from Thiruvananthapuram for the fourth time in 2014 and finished second position, behind INC candidate Shashi Tharoor who was former UPA Minister at the central government. Rajagopal secured a total of 2,82,336 votes (32.3%) and lost by a margin of 15,470 votes (1.8%) against Tharoor, who had secured 2,97,806 votes.
He contested in Aruvikkara by-election and finished third, although his personal influence ensured that in the contest BJP increased votes from 7,694 to 34,145 causing division of anti-incumbency vote resulting in the victory of UDF. In the 2016 Assembly elections he contested from Nemom and defeated the sitting MLA V. Sivankutty, by a margin of 8,671 votes, thereby entering Kerala Legislative Assembly for the first time at the age of 87.
Lok Sabha Elections
2014 Lok Sabha Election
2004 Lok Sabha Election
|CPI||P. K. Vasudevan Nair||2,86,057||37.45||1.45|
|INC||V. S. Sivakumar||2,31,454||30.30||7.85|
1999 Lok Sabha Election
|INC||V. S. Sivakumar||288,390||38.15||5.9|
Kerala Assembly Elections
Assembly election 2016
|CPI (M)||V. Sivankutty||59,142||41.39%||1.55|
|JD(U)||V. Surendran Pillai||13,860||9.70%||7.66|
Aruvikkara by-election 2015
|INC||K. S. Sabarinathan||56,448||39.61||10.47|
|CPI (M)||M Vijayakumar||46,320||32.50||7.11|
Neyyattinkara By-Election 2012
|CPI (M)||F. Lawrence||46,194||35.14||13.84|
Assembly election 2011
|CPI (M)||V Sivan Kutty||50,076||42.99%|
|[[Socialist_Janata_(Democratic)|Template:Socialist Janata (Democratic)/meta/shortname]]||Charupara Ravi||20,248||17.38%|
Assembly election 2006
|CPI (M)||K. K. Divakaran||41,166||36.97%|
|INC||A. V. Gopinathan||39,822||35.76%|
Assembly election 1970
|CPI (M)||R. Krishnan||23,113||40.50%|
|Independent||A. Chandran Nair||17,653||30.93%|
|style="background-color: Template:Bharatiya Jana Sangh/meta/color; width: 5px;" |||[[Bharatiya Jana Sangh|Template:Bharatiya Jana Sangh/meta/shortname]]||O. Rajagopal||15,646||27.42%|
- "Kerala Assembly Results 2016: As it happened | Zee News". zeenews.india.com. Retrieved 29 January 2017.
- Candidate Watch - 'O. Rajagopal, BJP candidate, Thiruvananthapuram Lok Sabha seat' The Hindu - 28 April 2004
- Diluting MLAs’ rights The Tribune, Chandigarh - 31 October 2001
- 18 outsiders in Rajya Sabha The Hindu - 10 June 2004
- Life & Career - Keral.com
- Positions Held - Keral.com
- "IndiaVotes PC: Trivandrum 1999". indiavotes.com. Retrieved 29 January 2017.
- "IndiaVotes PC: Trivandrum 1998". indiavotes.com. Retrieved 29 January 2017.
- "IndiaVotes PC: Trivandrum 1996". indiavotes.com. Retrieved 29 January 2017.
- "Result of by-election from Neyyattinkara Assemblyconstiutency, Kerala". keralaassembly.org. Retrieved 29 January 2017.
- "IndiaVotes AC Wise Candidates information for PC: Thiruvananthapuram 2014". indiavotes.com. Retrieved 29 January 2017.
- "In Aruvikkara, BJP produces five-fold increase in vote share at the cost of CPI(M)". The Indian Express. 30 June 2015. Retrieved 18 September 2020.
- "Indian Parliament Election Results- Kerala 1999". Keralaassembly.org. Retrieved 20 October 2013.
- National Informatics Centre - Kerala State Unit - 5461. "Kerala Election Results 2016 - Trend of counting by Election Department". trend.kerala.gov.in. Archived from the original on 13 May 2014. Retrieved 29 January 2017.