THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: It may be a pleasant knowledge for V S Achuthanandan loyalists to have the information that he had genuine concern for his loyalists, especially when he had been facing criticism that his prime concern is the single agenda of self-promotion even at the cost of his loyalists.
This time, one may be amazed by the fact that he prevailed upon his detractors in the party and the government for including one of his strong confidants in Alappuzha district in the nominees’ list for the Padma awards for the year 2010.
The name of V K Vasudevan, locally known as Varikkolil Vasudevan, the former president of Cheriyanad panchayat in the Chengannur taluk and member of the CPM Chengannur area committee, had figured as the eighth nominee in the list prepared in 2009 by the General Administration department. He was chosen for the category of Social workers for his pioneering role in making Cheriayanad a ‘litigation- controlled panchayat’ in the country.
His name figured in the list which had Soorya Krishnamoorthy, Sathyan Anthikkad, Ashtavaidyan E T Narayanan Moosad, Thiruvizha Jayasankar, B Ravi Pillai, M C Jacob, Mavelikkara S R Raju, Gopinath Muthukad, Dr Jose Chacko Periyappuram, KPAC Lalitha, Vellayani Arjunan, Dr Philip Augustine, Dr Sahadulla, Dr Hareendran Nair, George Onakkur, V P Joseph Valiyaveetil and K Raghavan Master. This was the first list submitted by the State Government on September 23, 2009.
The government had sent a supplementary list containing the names of Sasidharan Kartha, G Sankar and M G Sreekumar on October 7, 2010. While these lists of nominees were made known to the public, there was widespread protest by the media and general public on the exclusion of persons like K Ravindranathan Nair (General Pictures Ravi).
Besides the fact that Vasudevan was a strong VS loyalist in the district, he had a lot to claim for himself to get the nod. None other than Justice V R Krishna Iyer wrote a recommendation letter to the Prime Minister in this regard. “Vasudevan has succeeded in the great achievements of banishing litigation and illiteracy from his panchayat altogether. This is a remarkable achievement meriting national honour in the form of Padma award,’’ he said in recommendation. He added that this achievement needed to be publicised so that office-bearers of other panchayats in India may emulate Vasudevan.
The Chengannur block panchayat committee and the State Legal Services Authority also had recommended Vasudevan’s name. However, Vasudevan did not get the coveted national honour, though he figured in the list of nominees.