P. K. Vasudevan Nair

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Padayatt Kesavapillai Vasudevan Nair (2 March 1926 – 12 July 2005), popularly known as PKV, was the 9th Chief Minister of Kerala and a senior leader of the Communist Party of India (CPI). He was elected to the Lok Sabha four times, in 1957, 1962, 1967 and 2004, and to the Kerala Legislative Assembly twice, in 1977 and 1980. He became Chief Minister on 20 October 1978, following A. K. Antony's resignation as Chief Minister.[7] However he resigned 7 October 1979 owing to differences with other parties in the United Front.

P.K. Vasudevan Nair
P.K. Vasudevan Nair.jpg
7th Chief Minister of Kerala
In office
29 October 1978 – 7 October 1979
GovernorJothi Venkatachalam
Preceded byA. K. Antony
Succeeded byC.H. Mohammed Koya
Member of Parliament, Lok Sabha
In office
2004[1] – 12 July 2005
Preceded byV. S. Sivakumar
Succeeded byPannyan Raveendran
In office
1967[2] – 1971
Preceded byEstablished
Succeeded byM. M. Joseph
In office
1962[3] – 1967
Preceded byP.T. Punnoose
Succeeded bySusheela Gopalan
In office
1957[4] – 1962
Preceded byC. P. Mathen
Succeeded byRavindra Varma
Member of Kerala Legislative Assembly
In office
1977[5] – 1982[6]
Preceded byT. V. Thomas
Succeeded byK. P. Ramachandran Nair
Secretary of the Communist Party of India Kerala State Committee
In office
Preceded byS. Kumaran
Succeeded byVeliyam Bharghavan
Personal details
Padayatt Kesavapillai Vasudevan Nair

(1926-03-02)2 March 1926
Kidangoor, Travancore, British India
Died12 July 2005(2005-07-12) (aged 79)
New Delhi, India
Political partyCommunist Party of India
Spouse(s)K. P. Lakshmi Kutty Amma
Children3 sons and 2 daughters
Alma materGovernment Law College, Thiruvananthapuram

He was the founder-president of the Travancore Students Union, All India Students Federation (AISF) and All India Youth Federation (AIYF). He remained with the CPI after the split in the Communist movement in 1964 and was elected the party's State secretary in 1982.

Early life and educationEdit

He was born in Kidangur village in Kottayam, Kerala to a Hindu Nair family of Kesava Pillai and Nanikutty Amma. He was their eldest child. He began his political life as a student activist while studying in Union Christian College, Aluva, when the whole country was in upheaval having entered the final phase of freedom struggle. After graduating in Physics he went for study law at Government Law College, Thiruvananthapuram. PKV had his baptism in politics during his students days as an activist of the All India Students Federation (AISF).

Political careerEdit

Youth politicsEdit

He joined the Communist Party of India in 1945 like many young radicals of his time who thought Congress were too moderate and pro-rich. The subsequent years saw him evolve as a student and youth leader. He was the president of Travancore Students' Union in 1947 and elected as President of All Kerala Students Federation in 1948.

Politics in Travancore-Cochin stateEdit

PKV was first arrested for making a speech against the royal ruler of Travancore. He was among hundreds of communists who went underground when the Communist Party of India was banned following its adoption of the Calcutta Thesis that called for armed struggle against the ruling government in 1948. He took part in underground activities from 1948–51 and was arrested in 1951 in connection with students' movement.

P K Vasudevan Nair and Balraj Sahani backed the idea of All India Youth Federation. Delhi's firebrand youth leader, Guru Radha Kishan was very active in organising the first national conference of AIYF in Delhi, this wholehearted effort was visible when more than 250 delegates and observers across India representing several youth organizations of various states attended this conference. PKV had acted as president of All India Students Federation, All India Youth Federation (AIYF) and Vice President of World Federation of Democratic Youth (WFDY).

Niyamasabha MLA and Lok Sabha MPEdit

He was elected to the Lok Sabha from Tiruvalla in 1957 from Ambalappuzha in 1962 and from Peermade in 1967. He was in the panel of chairmen and secretary of CPI Parliamentary Party in the Lok Sabha from 1967 to 1970. He was elected the MLA from Alappuzha in 1977 and 1980

Chief MinisterEdit

When the Communist Party split in 1964, he stayed the CPI. After a long national parliamentary career, PKV returned to state politics in the 1970s and was elected to the Kerala Assembly in 1977 in the election held after the Emergency. He was the Industries Minister in the Karunakaran and A.K. Antony ministries from April 1977 to October 1978. When Antony resigned in 1979 protesting against the Congress' choice of Indira Gandhi as a candidate in Chikmagalur Lok Sabha by-election, PKV became Chief Minister with the support of the Congress on 29 October 1978 and occupied the post till 7 October 1979.

Personal lifeEdit

PKV election mural 2004

Whether in or out of power, he always kept a simple lifestyle and had been accessible to all sections of people. An ardent communist, the epitome of simplicity and a crusader for people's causes in his long political career spanning six decades that saw him elected to the post of Chief Minister, four-time MP and leader of CPI's Parliamentary Group in the Lok Sabha. He had left a vivid impression in the minds of the people.

From 1982 to 2004, PKV had stayed away from electoral politics, concentrating his time and energy on the organisational front. During this period, he mostly served as the state secretary of CPI.

PKV also served as editor of Janayugom daily, the organ of the Communist Party of India between 1954–57.


P. K. Vasudevan Nair died at 3.35 PM on 12 July 2005 in AIIMS, New Delhi following multiple organ failure brought about by chronic heart ailment and severe diabetes. He was serving as the Lok Sabha MP from Thiruvananthapuram constituency, elected in 2004 elections.[7] His wife, Lakshmikutty Amma, who was the younger sister of P. Govinda Pillai, a veteran Marxist scholar and PKV's classmate, died later on 2013. The couple are survived by their three sons and two daughters.


  1. ^ http://loksabhaph.nic.in/Members/statedetailar.aspx?state_name=Kerala&lsno=14 Members 14th of Loksabha 2004-09
  2. ^ http://loksabhaph.nic.in/Members/statedetailar.aspx?state_name=Kerala&lsno=4 Members 4th of Loksabha 1967-71
  3. ^ http://loksabhaph.nic.in/Members/statedetailar.aspx?state_name=Kerala&lsno=3 Members 3rd of Loksabha 1962-67
  4. ^ http://loksabhaph.nic.in/Members/statedetailar.aspx?state_name=Kerala&lsno=2 Members 2nd of Loksabha 1957-62
  5. ^ http://www.niyamasabha.org/codes/mem_1_5.htm Members of 5th KLA 1977-80
  6. ^ http://www.niyamasabha.org/codes/mem_1_6.htm Members of 6th KLA 1980-82
  7. ^ a b "Veteran CPI leader 'PKV' passes on". outlookindia.com/. Retrieved 8 September 2020.
Preceded by
A. K. Antony
Chief Minister of Kerala
Succeeded by
C.H. Mohammed Koya