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Updated: July 4, 2014 11:46 IST

Leftist who left a mark on Sabarimala

Special Correspondent
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P.K. Chandranandan
P.K. Chandranandan

P.K. Chandranandan was instrumental in building a road to the Ayyappa temple.

How many Sabarimala pilgrims are aware that Chandranandan Road which provides an easy and comfortable access to the Ayyappa temple was constructed at the behest of an ardent communist leader?

Veteran Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader P.K. Chandranandan who passed away on Tuesday has to his credit the construction of the road. He also contributed all benefits due to him from the Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB) which he had served as a member in 1967. Old-timers passionately remember the tenure of Chandranandan in the board, and describe him as a leader with an impeccable character and an uncompromising stance against corruption and nepotism.

On conceiving a new road in addition to the traditional path, Chandranandan, affectionately referred to as PKC, organised a group of people, including employees, and took the lead to secure forest land. His untiring efforts reaped rewards. On getting the land, he contributed his allowances and perks for the work.

He also took the lead in evicting encroachments on the Devaswom land at the headquarters here.

The drive against encroachers proved to be a success, and the board was able to regain a vast expanse of land, estimated at crores of rupees, in the heart of the city.

On finding it difficult to adjust to the system, he opted out silently. Perhaps he is one of the few politicians who came out unscathed from a stint at the helm of the board.

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