THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Freedom fighter and veteran Socialist P Viswambharan passed away on Friday. He was 91. Viswambharan, who had been ailing for the past three months, died at his residence at Vellar near Kovalam. He was a bachelor. The funeral will be held at 4.30 pm on Saturday on his house premises.
Viswambharan, a former MP and MLA, had a long stint in politics starting with earnest participation in Quit India agitation. In 1964 he was elected as the state general secretary of the then influential Praja Socialist Party(PSP). When the LDF was constituted in 1973, he was made its first convener.
Born as the son of Padmanabhan and Chellamma of Charuvila house, Vellar, Kovalam, on June 25, 1925, Viswambharan had his school education from LP School, Pachalloor, Venganoor English Middle School and SMV School, Thiruvananthapuram.
He had his college education from Scot Christian College, Nagarcoil, Arts College, Thiruvananthapuram, and University College, Thiruvananthapuram, and graduated in History and Economics. Later he joined the Govt Law College but could not complete the course.
In 1945, he was elected to the executive committee of the Travancore University Union. In 1946, he was appointed as the central office secretary of the Travancore State Congress. In 1949 he joined the Socialist Party and became its district committee member in 1950.
In 1956 he became the state joint secretary of the PSP. Later PSP and Ram Manohar Lohia's Socialist Party merged to form the Samyuktha Socialist Party(SSP) and Viswmabharan became its state general secretary.
In 1971 he was elected as the state chairman when various Socialist parties merged. During Emergency, he was in the forefront in resisting it and got arrested and imprisoned. He functioned as state secretary of the People's Union for Civil Liberties. He was also in the forefront of the formation of the Janata Party and was elected as its state president in 1980. He was also served as the president of the state unit of Janatha Dal. In 2003 he was made the state convener of the Socialist front.
He was also the member of the national executive of PSP, SSP, SP and parliamentary board of the party.
In 1954 he was elected to the Travancore-Kochi Assembly on PSP ticket. In 1960 he was once again elected, this time to the Kerala Assembly from the same constituency. In 1967 he was elected to the Lok Sabha from the Thiruvananthapuram Lok Sabha constituency on SSP ticket. He was a member of the Public Accounts Committee in the Assembly and Lok Sabha.
Viswmabharan had his stint as journalist with Malayalam dailies 'Malayali,' 'Swathanthra Kahalam,' 'Deshabandhu' and 'Mathrubhumi' and served as the founder state general secretary of the Thiru-Kochi Working Journalists Union. He had also been active as a trade unionist and corporator.