THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: “He was an easygoing person,’’ was how former Mayor V Karunakaran Nair was referred to by many of his ‘comrades’ - people who were close to him or those who saw him respectfully as a veteran leader.
He is remembered as an omnipresent personality in his ward Nedumcaud, where he had a 25-year-long tenure as councillor. He also had a one-time stint as the Mayor from February 5, 1991 to February 4, 1992.
‘’Until a couple of weeks ago, he was seen in the area, particularly at the tea shop in Nedumcaud Junction. He was so popular in the place that he could easily get a pillion ride with anyone here. It appears old age and sickness had taken a toll on him, for he had turned too weak in the last few days when I saw him, but he did not miss his morning stroll along the streets,” reminisced Karamana Hari, CPM district committee member and former councillor.
Nair was a people’s representative who came to mainstream politics from the teaching profession. Before contesting for the councillor post, he was serving as a lower primary teacher with an aided school at Palapooru, near Vellayani. One of the prominent local leaders of the party, he became the finance standing committee chairman of the Corporation. Other than the councillor and Mayor posts, he was a member of the CPM taluk committee and served as the local committee secretary, Chalai.
With his demise, the number of former Mayors of the city corporation who are still alive has come down to five; A Mohammed Kasim, K Karunakaran, V Sivankutty, C Jayan Babu and J Chandra.