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V S Achuthanandan

Chief Minister

Velikkakathu Sankaran Achuthanandan, (20 October 1923 - ) is the twentieth Chief Minister of Kerala state, India. He was a Politburo member of Communist Party of India (Marxist) (CPI(M)) from 1985 to May 2007 and is popularly known as "Comrade VS".

Born on 20 October 1923 to Sankaran and Accamma in Alappuzha district of Kerala state, Achuthanandan had to face poverty from a very early age.} He belongs to the prominent, but backward, Ezhava caste of Kerala. He lost his mother when he was four years old and father when he was 11 years old. This forced him to give up his studies after finishing 7th standard in school . He started working by helping his elder brother in a village cloth shop. Later he took up the job of meshing coir to make ropes at a coir factory.

He entered politics through trade union activities and joined State Congress in 1938. In 1940, he became a member of the Communist Party of India (CPI). During his 40 years as a politician he was imprisoned for five years and six months[citation needed] and had gone under hiding for four and half years. He was a state secretariat member of the CPI in 1957. He is the only one living Keralite among the 32 members who left the CPI National Council in 1964 to form the CPI(M). He is the senior most leader of CPI(M) in Kerala.

The anti-reclamation stir launched by the Kerala State Karshaka Thozhilali Union (KSKTU) at Mankonpu in 1996-97, under the leadership of Achuthanandan created much controvesy. The protest got the sobriquetvettinirathal samaram following the violent methods and crop destruction resorted to by the KSKTU cadre. The stir generated lot of public criticism and Achuthanandan expressed his disapproval of any further destruction of crops.He was active in the famous Punnapra-Vayalar uprising[citation needed] that led to a police shootout killing many.
On May 26 2007, he was suspended from the CPI(M) Polit Bureau along with Pinarayi Vijayan, state secretary of CPI(M) after making remarks and criticisms regarding each other to the media.

After the Assembly Elections in 2006, CPI(M)-led Left Democratic Front (LDF) gained an absolute majority in the house. The State Committee and Polit Bureau of CPI(M) unanimously decided to make Achuthanandan the Chief Minister of Kerala. He took oath of office on 18 May, 2006 as the twentieth Chief Minister of Kerala.

As a Chief Minister of the state of Kerala he has succeeded in the revival of several public sector units, measures to tackle price rise, reaching an agreement on the Smart City project in Kochi and the initiating firm action against encroachment of government land in the hill resort and tea plantation town of Munnar.

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