Veteran Congress leader K Sankaranarayanan, 89, dies; cremation today at Thrissur

K Sankaranarayanan.
K Sankaranarayanan.

Veteran Congress leader K Sankaranarayanan, who was governor in six Indian states, died (89) on Sunday.

Sankaranarayanan, who was much respected in the political sphere, even by members of rival parties, had been battling ill health.

He had been hospitalised recently and passed at his residence on Shekaripuram Kavu Street in Palakkad by 8.55 pm.

K Shankaranarayanan

 

Cremation in Thrissur
The cremation will be held on his ancestral property in Thrissur at 5.30 pm on Sunday. Till 2 pm, the body will be kept at his residence in Palakkad for people to pay their respects.

Between 2.30 pm and 3.30 pm, the body will be kept for public homage at the DCC Office in Palakkad.

He had been a godfather to several Congress leaders in Kerala and was a state minister on multiple occasions in the UDF governments led by AK Antony and K Karunakaran.

He was elected to the state legislative assembly from the constituencies of Thrithala, Sreekandapuram, Ottapalam and Palakkad.

Known for his oratory skills, Sankaranarayan was the convener of the UDF in Kerala for 16 years (1986-2001).

 

K Sankaranarayanan (right) with Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan.

Student politics days
Born on October 15, 1932, to Aniyath Sankaran Nair and Lakshmiyamma, Sankaranarayanan stepped into politics during his student days.

He became the Congress Committee Secretary in Shornnur and later held the position in Pattambi. In 1964, Sankaranarayanan was appointed the president of the Palakkad district congress committee.

He famously refused to sign a mercy petition after being jailed. It was from prison that he went to attend the funeral of his political guru K Kamaraj.

 

A shortlived ministry
In 1977, Sankaranarayanan reached the assembly from Thrithala and was made the Minister for Agriculture by then chief minister K Karunakaran.

However, the term was shortlived as after just 16 days the cabinet, under pressure from the infamous Rajan case, resigned.

Later, he handled the same portfolio in the AK Antony government. In 2001, he handled a host of ministries, including Revenue.

 

Becoming Governor
In 2007, Sankaranarayanan was appointed the governor of Nagaland. In 2009, he held the post in Jharkhand and the next year, he was appointed governor of Maharashtra, where he was given a second term in 2012. He resigned when transferred to Mizoram in 2014.

He leaves his daughter Anupama. The cremation will be held later.

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