On May 29, 2020, M.P. Veerendra Kumar, Rajya Sabha (RS) MP from Kerala and Loktantrik Janata Dal (LJD) Leader, writer and journalist, passed away at the age of 83 due to cardiac arrest in Kozhikode, Kerala. He was born on July 22, 1936, at Kalpetta, Wayanad district, Kerala.
i.He had been an all-India treasurer of the Samyukta Socialist Party between 1968 and 1970. Later, he became part of the Janata Party and the Janata Dal.
ii.In 1987, he became an MLA (Member of the Legislative Assembly) and the Minister of Forests in the E.K. Nayanar Cabinet, but had to resign within 48 hours and his first order reportedly was against cutting forests.
iii.In 1996, Kumar was elected to the Lok Sabha from Kozhikde and became a ‘Union Minister of State for Finance’ and later ‘Union Minister of State for Labour’ in the United Front governments led by HD Deve Gowda and IK Gujral.
iv.He was elected to the Lok Sabha again in 2004. Veerendra Kumar has been a member of the Rajya Sabha since April 2016.
i.Veerendra Kumar had his early education at Kalpetta and Kozhikode before getting his Masters degree (MD) in Philosophy from Vivekananda College, Madras, and an MBA (Master of Business Administration) from Cincinnati University, Ohio, US (United States).
Other Key Points:
i.He also served as the Managing Director (MD) of the Malayalam daily newspaper Mathrubhumi and was also associated with the Indian Newspaper Society as well as the Press Trust of India (PTI).
ii.Veerendra Kumar had always been opposed to the neoliberal economic policies & fought for environmental protection. He had written many books on subjects such as politics, philosophy & economics.
iii.Awards: He was a recipient of the Sahitya Academy award.
Chief Minister (CM)– Pinarayi Vijayan.
Governor– Arif Mohammad Khan.