Alphons Joseph Kannanthanam is an Indian advocate, politician, and a former civil servant. As a civil servant, he served the country in various capacities including Commissioner of the Delhi Development Authority. In September 2017, he became the Union Minister of State for Culture, and Tourism, making him the second BJP member from Kerala to hold a ministry in the central government.
Alphons Joseph Kannanthanam was born on Saturday, 8 August 1953 (age 70 years; as of 2023) in Manimala, Kottayam District, Kerala. His zodiac sign is Leo. Alphons pursued his early education at Malayalam-medium village schools near Manimala. In 1977, he pursued a master’s degree in Economics at North Eastern Hill University, Shillong. While serving as the Commissioner of the Delhi Development Authority, he completed his LLB degree at Delhi University in 1996.
Parents & Siblings
His father, K.V. Joseph, was a World War 2 veteran who became a school teacher after the war, and his mother, Brijith Joseph, was a humanitarian activist. She sponsored the education of many children and constructed houses for poor people. Alphons Joseph Kannanthanam has five sisters Jolly, Mercy, Cissy, Sophy, and Preetha and four brothers Alphons, Raju, Roy, and George. His parents adopted two more children, Paul, and Mini.
Wife & Children
Alphons Kannanthanam got married to Sheela Alphons on 26 October 1981. Sheela is a homemaker. The couple has 2 sons, Adarsh Alphons, who is an entrepreneur, artist, and philanthropist, and Akash Alphons.
Alphons Kannanthanam follows Christianity.
H.N. 1/485A, New 428, Kannanthanam House, P.O. – Manimala, Dist. – Kottayam, (Kerala)
Indian Administrative Service
Alphons Kannanthanam joined the Indian Administrative Service in 1979 and served for 27 years. As a civil servant, he became popular as the “Demolition Man” during his stint as Commissioner of the Delhi Development Authority; he recovered over 1,100 acres of DDA land worth over Rs 10,000 crore. Reportedly, he demolished more than 14,000 illegal buildings. In 2006, he resigned as an IAS officer to join politics.
Alphons Kannanthanam began his political journey in 2006, by becoming an independent MLA backed by the CPI(M) in Kerala. On 24 March 2011, he joined the BJP. In 2017, he was appointed the Minister of State in the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, and Minister of State (independent charge)) of the Ministry of Tourism. On 9 November 2017, Alphons was elected unopposed as a Rajya Sabha member from Rajasthan. Alphons Kannanthanam contested as a National Democratic Alliance candidate from the Ernakulam constituency for the 2019 Indian general elections but lost.
Assets & Properties
- Cash: Rs. 5,00,000
- Bank Deposits: Rs. 76,94,781
- Motor Vehicles: Rs. 8,00,000
- Bonds, Debentures and Shares in Companies: Rs. 3,26,11,566
- Other Assets (such as values of claims/interests): Rs. 10,00,000
- Agricultural Land: Rs 4,12,48,980
BJP uses the death of Jawans for its own publicity
After the Pulwama attack in 2019, Alphons Kannanthanam uploaded a selfie with the coffin of a soldier for which he was heavily criticised on social media, with many netizens stating that BJP was using the death of Jawans for its own publicity.
Union Minister & Senior BJP leader Alphons Kannanthanam takes a selfie with the coffin of a soldier killed in Pulwama.
Another example of BJP using the death of Jawans for its own publicity. pic.twitter.com/SykXIV6zZr
— Gaurav Pandhi (@GauravPandhi) February 17, 2019
In response to the controversy, Alphons stated that he doesn’t click selfies and said,
I don’t take selfies and haven’t taken one so far. Some media had aired live the last rites of the jawan. Things are clear in that, am a person who has held various posts in the last 40 years of my life. I had served people in slum areas in Delhi without holding any posts. My father was also a soldier. So, i am able to understand the sacrifice of the Indian soldiers instead of creating unnecessary controversies, the younger generations should work for the development of the country”
Kerala Bar Council suspends Alphons Kannanthanam
In November 2010, Alphons Kannanthanam was suspended by The Bar Council of Kerala (BCK), after they found him guilty of professional misconduct. He was suspended for 6 months. The committee said,
He had converted his proprietorship business to a private limited company and became the chairman of the company, from which he was receiving Rs 25,000 a month as well as 15 per cent of the company’s revenues. He should be debarred but should also be given an opportunity to stop his business within six months and continue practising as a lawyer if he desired to do so”
Alphons Kannanthanam owns a Nissan, 2013 Model.
- He was one of the toppers of the Civil Services Examination in 1979.
- In 2019, Alphons Kannanthanam inaugurated the country’s first tribal tourism circuit in Gangrel, Dhamtari district of Chhattisgarh.
- He is the first BJP leader from Kerala to get a ministerial berth.
- In 1994, he was featured in Time magazine’s list of 100 Young Global Leaders.
- The headmaster at the Malayalam medium school warned Alphons Kannanthanam’s parents that he would not pass his Class 10 Board examinations. Talking about this incident in an interview, he said,
I was a dumb child in school: I was the dumbest. I never won a prize in school. I scored a brilliant 42% for my matriculation. Everybody said I was good for nothing.”
- Alphons has written books titled “Making a Difference,” “Above the Mountain’s Shadow: A Journey of Hope and Adventure Inspired by the Forgotten,” and “Follow My Footsteps: A Journey of Adventure, Disaster, and Redemption Inspired by the Plight of At-Risk Girls.”
- In 2018, when Kerala was hit by a massive flood, he accidentally started a Twitter meme thread known as #KannanthanamSleepChallenge, when he posted his picture sleeping in a relief camp
— aмal ĸrιѕнnan (@marchformass) August 21, 2018