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Kerala: CPI state secretary Kanam Rajendran passes away at 73

Kerala: Communist Party of India (CPI) state secretary Kanam Rajendran breathed his last on Friday (Dec 8) due to a cardiac arrest in Kochi. He had been in the state secretary post since 2015. 

Kerala: CPI state secretary Kanam Rajendran passes away at 73 anr
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First Published Dec 8, 2023, 7:28 PM IST

Kochi: Veteran Communist Party of India (CPI) leader Kanam Rajendran passed away on Friday (Dec 5) following a cardiac arrest. He was 73 and breathed his last at a private hospital in Kochi while undergoing treatment. His health had kept him out of active politics for more than three months. According to earlier reports, Kanam requested a three-month break from the party's responsibilities. Kanam stated health concerns as the cause for his leave of absence in the application for leave that he filed with the party central committee.

Doctors had to amputate Kanam's foot as a diabetes-related infection had spread to his leg. He was a powerful member of the Left Democratic Front (LDF) led by CPIM in Kerala. 

On November 10, 1950, Rajendran was born in the Koottikkal village in the Kottayam district. At the age of 18, while enrolled in the NSS College in Vazhoor, he started his political career. The CPI's youth branch, the All India Youth Federation, appointed Rajendran as its state secretary when he was 21 years old. Along with TV Thomas, C Achutha Menon, and MN Govindan Nair, he worked at the state secretariat in 1975. 

Kanam had been a national council member of CPI. He has been in state executive and council bodies. As an MLA, Rajendran presented a bill for the welfare of construction workers before the Assembly. He represented the Vazhoor constituency in the state Assembly twice, in 1982 and 1987.

He contested five times in the Assembly between 1982 and 2006. Vazhoor's constituency, in contrast to his prior two terms, did not support Rajendran. He lost to Kerala Congress leader K Narayana Kurup in the polls that followed, and in 2006, to Kurup's son N Jayaraj.

Kanam Rajendran is survived by his wife Vanaja and children Smitha and Sandeep. 

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan condoled the demise of Kanam Rajendran. He said that CPI has lost one of the pillars of left unity. In his condolence message, the Chief Minister said that Kanam Rajendran made unparalleled contributions to strengthening the communist movement, strengthening working-class unity, protecting democratic movements and preserving secular values. Kanam, one of the undisputed leaders of Kerala who emerged through student organization activities, has always remained the strength and voice of the people. As a strong trade union leader, Kanam has always been keen on upholding the unity of the workers and their common demands. His experience of being at the forefront of student and youth labor movements at various stages laid a great foundation for his work as CPI State Secretary.

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