K. Narayana Kurup, one of the founding members of Kerala Congress, who had been Deputy Speaker and four-time Minister, has passed away. He was 86.
Mr. Kurup, who was suffering from age-related ailments, was admitted to a private hospital with fever last week. His end came by 2.30 p.m. on Wednesday. Born on October 23, 1927, to a wealthy agriculturist family at Karukachal, Mr. Kurup had his education in Chennai, Mumbai and Pune and joined the NSS College, Changanassery as a lecturer. Later he took up the mantle of an advocate from where he entered politics as a socialist.
One of the earliest Lohiaists from Kerala, Mr. Kurup had represented his home constituency Vazhoor (now extinct) even before the formation of the State when he was elected to Travancore-Cochin Assembly on a Praja Socialist Party (PSP) ticket. His foray into the electoral politics after State reorganisation was in 1963 in a by-election at Vazhoor segment necessitated by the death of V.K. Velappan, Minister of Health in the ministry headed by Pattom Thanu Pillai. Mr. Kurup won the election on a Congress ticket.
However, the chaotic political situation in the 1960s found Mr. Kurup, a staunch follower of Mannathu Padmanabhan, playing a crucial role in the formation of Kerala Congress the next year and its building up in the central Travancore area in the early days of the nascent political outfit.
He was elected to Kerala Assembly in the abortive 1965 elections.
He represented his home constituency in 1970 and 1977, but his attempt to reach the Assembly in 1980, as an independent, met with failure and resulted in a decade long sabbatical from politics. He again entered the electoral arena in 1991 and got elected on Kerala Congress (M) ticket. He had repeated his victory in 1996 and 2001 only to retire in 2006 after serving the Assembly as a member for 26 years.
During his long political career, Mr. Kurup had been a member of the Cabinets headed by C. Achutha Menon, K. Karunakaran, A.K. Antony and P.K. Vasudevan Nair.
His close association with the people of his home constituency also found him getting elected to Vazhoor grama panchayat repeatedly. He had served as panchayat president for more than two decades.
Mr. Kurup leaves behind his wife Leela Devi, four sons including N. Jayaraj, MLA, and three daughters.
His funeral has been scheduled for 2 p.m. on Thursday at his house compound at Champakkara near Karukachal.