Veteran CPI leader and former minister E.Chandrasekharan Nair is no more. The gentleman communist, as he was popularly known in Kerala's political circles breathed his last on Wednesday afternoon at the Sri Chitra Medical Centre in the state capital. He was 89.
Known as the Maveli Minister for having started a chain of Maveli stores all over Kerala, as part of his innovative market intervention programme, State sponsored Onam-Bakrid-Christmas bazars were also his innovation. Chandrasekharan Nair's contributions in streamlining the public distribution system are unparalleled.
He was elected to the first Kerala Assembly in 1957 as a candidate of the undivided Communist party. Nair who was with CPI after the split of the Communist party had been MLA till 1996, in six different state assemblies, on being elected to the house in 1957, 1967, 1977, 1980, 1987 and 1996. He was thrice minister, in 1980, 1987 and 1996, all headed by CPM leader E.K.Nayanar. Nair handled handling food, civil supplies, housing and tourism in different ministries. Soft spoken Chandrasekharan Nair was very close to E.K.Nayanar.
Nair was active in the cooperative movement. He was the national president of National Cooperative Union and the National Federation of Cooperative Banks. For eight years continuously he was president of the state cooperative bank.
Chandrasekharan was also a man of letters. His works include "Hinduism and Hindutwa" and "Unforgettable memoirs" both in Malayalam. He was managing editor of CPI's state organ Janayugam.
Nair is survived by his wife, a son and daughter.