Kozhikode : A veteran socialist leader, former Union Minister and sitting Rajya Sabha member, MP Veerendra Kumar, passed away at a private hospital here last night at 11.30 pm He was 83. Veerendra Kumar was hospitalised on Tuesday following a cardiac arrest.
The leader held Finance portfolio at the centre and went on to become Deputy Minister for Labour. In 1987, he assumed charge as Minister of Forest in Kerala, but tendered his resignation within 48 hours.
Veerendra Kumar was the Chairman and Managing Director of Mathrubhumi daily. He also served as executive committee member at Newspaper Society(INS) , Director and Trustee to Press Trust of India(PTI), the member of National Press Institute, member of Commonwealth Press Union and member of World Association of Newspapers
The veteran politician was born on 22 July 1936 in Wayanad’s Kalpetta. His father, MK Padmanabhan, was leader of a very prominent socialist party and legislator at Madras Assembly. Marudevi Ayya was his mother. Veerendra Kumar took his masters degree from Vivekananda College in Madras and MBA at Cincinnati University in the U..S. His stint as Chairman with PTI spanned 1992-93, 2003-04 and 2011-12 and President at INS between 2003-04. Jayaprakash Narayan enrolled him into the Socialist Party while still schooling.
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan offered condolences and said Veerendra Kumar’s death marked a great loss to the establishment of secular democracy. CPI(M) Secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishanan said Veerendra Kumar was great leader and driving force to the socialist movement in the country.
The leader is survived by wife Usha and Children : Asha, Nisha, Jayalakshmi, Shreyas Kumar (Managing Director, Mathrubhumi). The funeral will be held on Tuesday at Kalpetta, Wayanad.