K Krishnankutty: Chittoor's waterman

K Krishnankutty: Chittoor's waterman
K Krishnankutty with family.

Politics of water made Krishnankutty, 75, popular. He had initiated several projects over the past two-and-a-half-years to conserve water and also to ensure drinking water.

Krishnankutty, 75, a farmer from Chittoor in Palakkad district, forayed into politics as Congress worker. He opted for Congress (O) after the Congress split in 1969. (Indira Gandhi had formed a new party, Congress-R, after her expulsion from Indian National Congress (INC) on disciplinary grounds. After the split, INC came to be known as Congress-O or Congress-Organisation)

Later, Krishnankutty joined the Janata Party and then the Janata Dal. In 1980, he contested the polls on a Janata Party ticket and defeated incumbent MLA P Shankar of the CPI. Two years later, he defeated Mullappally Ramachandran, but lost to K A Chandran of the Congress in 1987. Krishnankutty pipped Chandran in the next election in 1991. But K Achuthan of the Congress defeated him in the next three elections held between 1996 and 2006.

Following the 2009 split in Janata Dal, Krishnankutty stood by the M P Veerendra Kumar-led group. In 2014, he joined the Janata Dal faction led by Mathew T Thomas. He defeated Achuthan in 2016, and was made a minister during the second half of the first Pinarayi government.

Krishnankutty, who had functioned as the state president of JD(S), is now a national executive member of the party.

He has been living with wife Vilasini and son Narayanankutty at Vilayodiyil Ezhuthani House, Chittoor. Latha Balasai, K Ajayan and land revenue commissioner K Biju are his other children.

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