About V.S. Achuthanandan
Velikkakathu Sankaran Achuthanandan, an Indian politician and one of the founding members of the Communist Party of India (Marxist), is well known for his anti-liberalism and Fabian Socialism views.
Brief Political Biography
A popular mass leader, he is respected for the integrity he brought to politics. He is the former Chief Minister of Kerala (2006-11) and is currently the leader of opposition since 2011. Achuthanandan, since childhood, strongly believed in organized way of living. He always raised his voice against corruption. He is known for his dedication and simplicity. Achuthanandan has always been at the forefront for the protection of farmers and their lands, and also participated in the freedom movement, for which he went to jail in 1946.
Achuthanandan was born on 20 October 1923 to Sankaran and Accamma at Alappuzha, Kerala. He lost both his parents at a very young age and was forced to leave his studies after class 7, when he was only 11. Initially he worked at a tailoring shop with his brother and later joined a coir factory as a worker. Achuthanandan was an active member of trade union and made it a platform to enter politics. He got married to K. Vasumathy in July 1967 and has two children, V.A. Arunkumar and V.V. Asha.
Entry into Politics
Achuthanandan’s active involvement in trade union activities paved way for his entry into politics. He joined the state Congress in
1938 and started teaching and working on the organized way of agriculture to the farmers in Kattanadu. He then joined the Communist Party of India in 1940 and was under the influence of P. Krishna Pillai, who was a Communist revolutionary. Later he participated in the freedom movement and Communist movement.
He raised his voice against the policies of C.P. Ramaswamy Iyer, who was the then Divan of Travancore, for the American model of government. For this, he was arrested and sent to jail for five and a half years where he was beaten up severely and had his soles pierced by the policemen as a punishment. He struggled for implementing the Land Reforms Act and was successful in 1967 when the Act was passes by the EMS government.
Political Journey of V.S. Achuthanandan
Achuthanandan held many positions during his long political career of 66 years, beginning from 1938. By 1957 he was made the state secretariat member of the CPI. Many a times he faced opposition and criticism from his party members for raising his voice against corruption by other leaders.
In 1962, when the Sino-Indian war was taking place, he faced demotion in the party for supporting blood donation camps for Indian soldiers. Also, disciplinary action was taken against him by the EMS government in Thalassery for his involvement in factional activities.
He is one of those 32 members of the CPI who left the party to form the new CPI(M), Communist Party of India (Marxist) in 1964.
- He was elected a member of the Kerala Legislative Assembly consecutively in 1967 and 1970 and then again in 1991.
- He was the secretary of the Kerala State Committee from 1980 to 1992.
- From 1992 to 1996, he was made the leader of opposition in the Kerala Legislative Assembly. Along with that, he was writing for Deshabhimani Daily, the local newspaper owned by CPI(M).
- The 2006 Assembly election proved to be a turning point for him, when he defeated Satheesan Pacheeni from the United Democratic Front by a margin of 20,017 votes. Achuthanandan has a good public image and is known for his honesty as he always raises his voice against corruption. His attitude soon caused big problems for him when he spoke against his own party member, Pinarayi Vijayan, the then Kerala party Secretary and Power Minister and the arch rival of Achuthanandan who was a suspect in a thirteen year old scandal. The case involved an agreement between the Kerala government and the Canadian power giant SNC Lavalin, and Vijayan was accused of bribery. Achuthanandan took a stand and supported legal proceedings against Vijayan and paid the price in the form of dismissal from the CPM politburo against charges of violating party disciplines. However, he continued as the CM of Kerala till 2011.
- During the 2011 assembly election, there was again mayhem about giving election ticket to Achuthanandan. He was at first denied ticket, to which there were many protests. He later contested the election and won the election by a huge margin of 25,000 votes.
- Achuthanandan was then declared the man behind the success of the LDF (Left Democratic Front), which is a coalition of CPI(M), CPI, RSP etc. He was again chosen as the Leader of Opposition.
Achievements of Achuthanandan
- Achuthanandan strongly believes in improvising technology and brought a lot of development in Kerala. He, along with Richard Stallman, supported free and open source software in Kerala.
- He initiated the planning and construction of the Kollam Technopark, the Thrissur-Koratty IT Park, the Kochi Info park, etc., even before the start of his tenure as the CM. These IT parks are occupied by major IT companies.
- IT export saw record growth during his tenure, surpassing national average.
- He initiated major renovation programmes of famous tourist attractions such as AshtaMudi circuit in Kollam and Malampuzha.
- As the Chief Minister of Kerala he initiated various steps, such as the action against encroachment on government land in the hilly and tea plantation town of Munnar. The land was allegedly grabbed by resort owners and MNCs such as Tata Tea limited.
- His other initiatives included the demolition drive in Kochi M.G. Road, anti-piracy drive against film-piracy, and his long struggle against the lottery mafia in the state.
- He also raised his voice against corruption by former minister R. Balakrishna Pillai, and was instrumental in bringing about conviction.
Last Updated on Feb 17, 2020