P. K. Vasudevan Nair

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P. K. Vasudevan Nair
7th Chief Minister of Kerala
In office
29 October 1978 – 7 October 1979
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
Preceded byEstablished
Succeeded byM. M. Joseph
In office
Preceded byP.T. Punnoose
Succeeded bySusheela Gopalan
In office
Preceded byC. P. Mathen
Succeeded byRavindra Varma
Member of Kerala Legislative Assembly
In office
Preceded byT. V. Thomas
Succeeded byK. P. Ramachandran Nair
Secretary of the Communist Party of India Kerala State Council
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
SpouseK. P. Lakshmi Kutty Amma
Children3 sons and 2 daughters
Alma materGovernment Law College, Thiruvananthapuram

Padayatt Kesavapillai Vasudevan Nair (2 March 1926 – 12 July 2005), popularly known as PKV, was an Indian politician and lawyer who served as the 7th Chief Minister of Kerala from 1978 to 1979. He was a Member of the Lok Sabha from 1957 to 1971 and again from 2004 until his death in 2005. He became Chief Minister on 20 October 1978, following A. K. Antony's resignation as Chief Minister.[7] However he resigned on 7 October 1979 owing to differences with other parties in the United Front. He served in the Kerala Legislative Assembly from 1977 to 1982. Nair was a senior member of the Communist Party of India

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 education[edit]

He was born in Kidangoor 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 on to study law at Government Law College, Thiruvananthapuram. PKV had his baptism in politics during his student days as an activist of the All India Students Federation (AISF).

Political career[edit]

Youth politics[edit]

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 state[edit]

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 to 1951 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 MP[edit]

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 Minister[edit]

When the Communist Party split in 1964, he stayed with 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.

House Election Constituency Result Majority
Parliament 1957 Thiruvalla Won 3607
1962 Ambalapuzha Won 11233
1967 Peermade Won 48581
Kerala Legislative Assembly 1977 Alappuzha Won 9670
1980 Won 1003
1982 Lost 1590
Parliament 2004 Trivandrum Won 54603

Personal life[edit]

PKV election mural 2004

Whether in or out of power, he had always led a simple life 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 and 1957.


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. He was cremated at his daughter's house at Pulluvazhy near Perumbavoor.[7] His wife, Lakshmikutty Amma, who was the younger sister of P. Govinda Pillai, a veteran Marxist scholar and PKV's classmate, died eight years later on 6 July 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.

Further reading[edit]

Preceded by Chief Minister of Kerala
Succeeded by