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K.J. Alphons: From demolition man to MoS

LiveMint logoLiveMint 04-09-2017 Staff Writer

K.J. Alphons is no stranger to headlines. As commissioner of Delhi Development Authority in the 1990s, he steered the demolition of several thousand illegal buildings.

It was a tenure that earned him a place in Time magazine’s coveted 100 young global leaders list in 1994. Earlier in the 1980s, while he was collector of Kottayam district in Kerala, his home town of Kanjirappally was declared the first fully literate municipality in the country.

But bureaucracy was ultimately too small a playground for the 1979 batch Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer of the Kerala cadre. On his retirement, he contested and won the assembly elections in 2006 from Kanjirappally in Kottayam, with the support of the Communist Party of India (Marxist). In 2011, however, he joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). 

In 2016, Alphons' name did the rounds as a possible Chandigarh administrator, and he even admitted that he had been conveyed the news officially. However, Punjab's then Shiromani Akali Dal government reportedly objected to a separate administrator for the Union Territory, and the appointment was scrapped.

Besides Alphons, three others with a background in bureaucracy have been given ministerial posts. His induction, it is believed, has been done keeping in mind the National Democratic Alliance's desire to expand its footprint in Kerala.

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