K. C. Venugopal is an Indian politician affiliated with the Indian National Congress party. He was a Member of Parliament in the Rajya Sabha from Rajasthan. He has previously served as an MLA in the Kerala Legislative Assembly and a member of parliament in the Lower House (Lok Sabha). He held several ministerial portfolios in the Kerala state government and the Indian UPA government.
K. C. Venugopal was born on 4 February 1963 in Kandonthar, Payyanur in the Kannur District of Kerala, India. He pursued a Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) degree (1984) at Payyannur College, located in Kannur district and later, a Master of Science (M.Sc.) degree (1986) in Mathematics at Calicut University, located in Calicut, Kerala. He later completed LLB Course as well. Additionally, during his college days, Venugopal actively participated in volleyball. He represented both Payyanur College and Calicut University in volleyball matches. His political journey began through the Student Movement of the Indian National Congress. He held various positions within the Kerala Students Union (KSU), starting as a Unit President and later serving as Thaliparamba Taluk Treasurer, Kannur District Secretary, State Vice President, and State Treasurer. In 1988, he was elected as the State President of KSU and served in this role for five years. During his time at Payyannur College, he was a University Union Councillor for four consecutive years. Additionally, he served as a Kerala University Senate Member. From 1993 to 2000, Venugopal held the position of Youth Congress State President.
Height (approx.): 5′ 10″
Weight (approx.): 75 kg
Hair Colour: Black
Eye Colour: Black
He was born into a Hindu Nair family.
Parents & Siblings
His father’s name was Kunji Krishnan Nambi, and his mother’s name was Janaki Amma. He has a sister.
Wife & Children
His wife’s name is Asha Venugopal who is the Assistant Professor and Head of the English Department at VTM NSS College Dhanuvachapuram, Thiruvananthapuram. He has a daughter named Parvati Venugopal and a son named Gokul Venugopal who is a content creator.
Rajeevam, Pazhaveedu P.O., Alappuzha, District Kerala, Pin Code- 695004
Early Years in Politics
He gained prominence in 1991 when his mentor and then Chief Minister of Kerala, Karunakaran, secured a Lok Sabha ticket for him from Kasaragod. At the age of 28, while being the president of the party’s student wing, he narrowly lost the election. In 1995, Venugopal disagreed with Karunakaran publicly over the suspension of Arjun Singh from their political party. Venugopal supported Singh openly, even though Karunakaran and others in their party had different opinions. This caused a rift between Venugopal and Karunakaran.
When A.K. Antony replaced Karunakaran as Chief Minister in March 1995, Venugopal had already distanced himself and joined a group of young leaders known as the “third group.” This group, led by Ramesh Chennithala, G. Karthikeyan, and M.I. Shanavas, considered themselves reformists or correctionists (called “Thiruthalvaadi” in Malayalam). They aimed to challenge the influence and control of both Karunakaran and Antony within the party.
Journey to Become a Key Member of Congress
He became a Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) for the first time in 1996, and he successfully re-won the seat in 2001 and 2006. In 2004, he became a minister in the government led by Oommen Chandy.
By 2009, he transitioned to becoming a Member of Parliament (MP) in the Lok Sabha. Within two years, he was appointed as a Union Minister of State, a position that was viewed as a way to appease his Nair community.
During the second term of the UPA (United Progressive Alliance) Government between 2009 to 2014, Venugopal served as the Minister of State for Civil Aviation and the Ministry of Power. In 2014, despite the Congress party’s poor performance nationwide, Venugopal was among the few MPs from Kerala who won their seats and was appointed as the party’s whip.
On April 29, 2017, he was appointed as the General Secretary of the All India Congress Committee (AICC). According to his close associates, he successfully convinced Rahul Gandhi to contest from Wayanad in Kerala during the 2019 elections. Despite losing his stronghold of Amethi, Rahul won from Kerala, indicating that Venugopal accurately gauged the political climate in Uttar Pradesh.
He also served as the in-charge of Congress War Rooms during several elections. Furthermore, on June 19, 2020, he was elected as a Member of Parliament in the Rajya Sabha from Rajasthan. Under his leadership, Congress won a thumping majority in Karnataka state elections in 2023 by winning 135 seats out of 224.
Sexual Exploitation Accusations
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) questioned him regarding the alleged sexual exploitation in the 2012 Solar scam case in Kerala. In 2013, the prime accused, who deceived people by promising solar solutions and shares in solar energy projects, wrote a letter to the top police officer in Kerala, accusing Hibi Eden (then MLA and now MP), K.C. Venugopal, former Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, former minister A.P. Anil Kumar, Congress MP Adoor Prakash, and BJP leader A.P. Abdullah Kutty of sexually exploiting her. Initially, the case was reported to the local police, but later, in August 2021, the CBI took over the investigation based on the state government’s recommendation. after the accused expressed dissatisfaction with the local police investigation in a letter to the Chief Minister, leading to the transfer of the case to the CBI.
He owns a Toyota Innova and Toyota Etios.
His income for the financial year 2018-19 was Rs 9 lakhs.
Assets & Properties
- Bank Deposits: Rs. 3,94,541
- Motor Vehicles: Rs. 18,08,140
- Non-Agricultural Land: Rs. 32,00,000
- Residential Buildings: Rs. 3,00,000
Note: The given estimates of movable and immovable assets are according to the year 2019. It excludes the assets owned by his wife and dependents (minor).
Venugopal’s net worth for the financial year 2018-19 was estimated to be Rs. 2.7 crores. It excludes the net worth of his wife and dependents (minors).
- He likes to read, write, and listen to music in his leisure time.
- In an interview, he described Rahul Gandhi as the most handsome MP (Member of Parliament), Hema Malini as the most beautiful actress, Arun Jaitley as a good orator, and Venkaiyah Naidu as the person who became angry at petty issues.
- His father wanted him to become an engineer or a government employee as he was very good at his studies; however, his mother supported him.
- He likes to sing and watches films with his wife whenever he gets time from his political campaigns.