Veteran Communist leader and trade union activist K Anirudhan,91, passed away at his home in Thiruvananthapuram. Father of A Sampath MP, the CPM leader who has been ailing for long, breathed his last at home on Sunday night. 

 

Anirudhan played a key role in building the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPM) in Thiruvananthapuram. He was the state committee member of the undivided Communist Party but switched over to the CPM the party got split in 1964. 

 

The veteran leader was elected to Kerala Assembly thrice and was a member of the parliament once.  His electoral battles had made history. At a very young age, Anirudhan took on former Chief Minister late Pattom Thanupillai and gave him a run for the money. Even though Pillai won the elections, his margin was very thin, just over 1,000 votes.  

 

Anirudhan's most famous electoral win was in 1965 in which he defeated Congress stalwart  and former Chief Minister R. Sankar.  The Communist leader fought the elections from jail.

 

Anirudhan's most famous electoral win was in 1965 in which he defeated Congress stalwart  and the then Chief Minister R. Sankar.  The Communist leader fought the elections from jail. He had been jailed by the government alleging that he was a 'Chinese spy.' Most of the Communist leaders were in prison during the polls. 

 

The Attingal constituency, then a stronghold of the Congress, had gained national attention because of Shanker's candidacy. It was also the first elections after the split in the Communist party.  In the tough fight, Anirudhan pipped Shanker and he was termed 'the giant killer.' In 1967, he trounced Sankar again, this time in the Chirayinkeezhu Parliament constituency. 

 

He was very active in politics when he was a student and was expelled from school for his political activities. He got expelled from college as well, for his political stand.

 

A Communist with a clean image, Anirudhan had been widely rumoured to get a cabinet berth in the 1980 EK Nayanar ministry. But he was not after any positions and continued as an obedient party worker despite being sidelined. He remained active in trade union politics till his last.  

 

Anirudhan is survived by his wife K Sudharma, sons A Sampath and A Kasturi.