Velikkakathu Sankaran Achuthanandan, a Politburo member of Communist Party of India
(Marxist) (CPI(M)), is the twentieth Chief Minister
state, India. He is popularly known as "Comrade VS". He plunged into the world of politics through Trade Union activities. Velikkakathu Sankaran Achuthanandan is a name which belongs to a a typical brand of leaders. Leadership didn`t come in a serving dish according to him. He has never seen leadership just as a sign of admiration for the hardships that he underwent, earlier in his political life. The responsibilities, which are entitled on him, he accepted them as a permission to share the hardships even more.
At the age of 83, he with a youthful energy can be found in the center of people whenever and wherever violence is done. His passion for the soil makes him a man of the masses. He is a humanitarian to the core; no barrier could ever stop him from his life motto. Unyielding, unbending and with a clean image, he carries with him the dreams of the common man on the street.
Achuthanandan was born on 20th October 1923 to Sankaran and Accamma in Alappuzha district of Kerala state. He was born to the poor, prominent Ezhava caste family. At the tender age of four, he lost his mother and at eleven lost his father. This led him to give up his studies after finishing 7th standard in school . By helping his elder brother he started working in a village cloth shop. Later he took up the job at a coir factory. On 18th July 1967, he married to K. Vasumathy and has one son and one daughter. Both his sons and daughters are well settled in their own spheres and are married now.
As a worker at the Aspinwal coir factory, he experiences harassment and mistreatment. This made Achuthanandan an active trade unionist. Communist Sri. P.Krishna Pillai recognizing his capabilities assigned Achuthanandan to systematize farm workers against feudalism in Kuttanad, Kerala`s rice bowl. Voices of protest began to be heard loud under his leadership. Throughout his 40 years of political life, he was imprisoned for five years and six months, as an outcome of his politics of demonstration. And he has gone under ground for four and half years. He has survived brutal police excesses as well.
The urge to fight, to revolt instilled in him with independent struggle, fights against feudalism and caste system and he joined the State Congress in 1939. In 1940, he became the member of the Communist Party. In 1957, he became a state secretariat member of the CPI. He played an active role in the Punnapra-Vayalar uprising. In 1962, he backed the nationalists in the party during the Sino-Indian war, supporting Indian side. With the benevolent attitude for the soldiers, he participated in a blood donation camp. For that he was assigned to a lower position in the party rank.
This senior most leader of CPI (M) in Kerala held the post of secretary of the Kerala State Committee between 1980 and 1992. Since 1985, he was serving as the Member of the Polit Bureau. In 1967, 1970, 1991 and 2001, he was elected to Kerala Legislative Assembly and was the Leader of Opposition from 1992 to 1996 and from 2001 till May 2006. At that time he became the Chief Minister of Kerala.
In his long political career, Achuthanandan has served many positions. He became one of the most popular political leaders in Kerala because of his crusade against curruption and anti-social elements in Kerala. In `Deshabhimani Daily`, the mouth piece of CPI(M) in Malayalam, he was the editor. Later he was removed from the post by the reformist leadership of CPI(M). V.S.Achuthanandan and E. Balanandan are the two figure who were opposing each other earlier on the issue of Trade Union independence. But later on both of them unified to fight against the Social Democratic group of CPI(M) along with the Left intellectual M. N. Vijayan.
In April-May 2006, the assembly elections took place in Kerala, in which VS Achuthanandan by a margin of 20,017 votes in Malampuzha constituency in Palghat district defeated Satheesan Pacheeni of the United Democratic Front. After the Assembly Elections in 2006, the State Committee and Polit Bureau of CPI(M) with out any objection decided to make Achuthanandan the Chief Minister of Kerala. On 18 May 2006, he took oath of office as the twentieth Chief Minister of Kerala.
During his Chief Ministership of the Indian State, Kerala, VS Achuthanandan became successful to revive several public sector units, measures to tackle price rises and reached an agreement on the Smart City project in Kochi. He also initiated a firm action against the intrusion of government land in the hill resort and tea plantation town of Munnar.