Shri. A.K.Antony, known for his simple living, has made indelible imprints in the social and political life of our society. As a seasoned political leader of the masses and three time Chief Minister of the state, Shri. A.K. Antony has relentlessly been pursuing high principles in his public as well as private life, right from the beginning of his political career spanning over 40 years.
Shri.Arakkaparambil Kurian Antony was born on December 28, 1940 at Cherthala in Alappuzha district to Shri. Arakkaparambil Kurian Pillai and Smt. Aleykutty.
His interest in politics came early in his life and he ventured into this field as an activist of the Kerala Students Union (KSU) while studying at the Govt High School, Cherthala. He was the Councillor of the School Union in 1956 and became the Secretary of the school union during 1957-58. While doing his graduation at the Maharajas College, Ernakulam, he was elected as General Secretary of the College Union in 1962. He became the Treasurer of Kerala Students Union the next year, and went on to become the State President of KSU during 1964-’66.
After taking his degree in Law and enrolling as an Advocate, he assumed the leadership of Pradesh Youth Congress Committee in 1966 and was elected as its President and continued as such till 1969. Being an ardent supporter of the Nehruvian socialist ideals, he organized various agitations for the common cause. He went on hunger march twice by foot from Kasaragod to Thiruvananthapuram. While participating in the fishermen agitation at Veluthulli near Cherthala, he was seriously injured and hospitalized due to police lathi charge.
The next phase of his political career started in 1969, when he was elevated as the General secretary of the Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) that year. He was the Convenor of the State Liaison committee of the ruling coalition as well from 1970 to ’77. Meanwhile, he was elected to the Kerala Legislative Assembly for the first time from Cherthala constituency in 1970. Shri. A.K. Antony has been the President of the Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) during 1973-77, 1978-82 and 1987-92.
Shri. A.K. Antony was sworn in as the Chief Minister of Kerala for the first time on April 27, 1977 following the resignation of the Ministry headed by Shri. K.Karunakaran. He was then elected to the Kerala Legislative Assembly through a bye-election from Kazhakkuttom constituency. However, in the wake of differences of opinion with regard to the Parliamentary bye-election at Chikkamagalore in Karnataka, he resigned his Chief Ministership on October 27, 1978.
When there was a split in the Congress party in 1978, he associated with the faction led by the late Devaraj Urs. Later he rejoined the Congress party at the Merger Convention inaugurated by Smt. Indira Gandhi at Cochin on December 13, 1982. He was appointed General Secretary, All India Congress Committee (AICC) in 1984 by Smt. Indira Gandhi and continued as such till 1987.
He was elected as a member of Rajya Sabha thrice during the period from 1985 to ’91 and 1991 to ’95 and again in 2005. He also served as the acting Treasurer of All India Congress Committee for one year in 1994. He was a member of the Union Cabinet led by Shri. P.V. Narasimha Rao as Cabinet Minister for Civil Supplies, Consumer Affairs and Public Distribution for two years from 1993 to ’95.
On March 22, 1995, he took charge as the Chief Minister of Kerala for a second term, following the resignation of Shri. K.Karunakaran. He was elected to the Kerala Legislative Assembly again in a bye-election from Thirurangadi constituency in 1995. He led the Ministry for the remaining term of nearly 14 months of the 9th Kerala Legislative Assembly with a good track record. He was elected to the Kerala Legislative Assembly from Cherthala in 1996 and was the Leader of Opposition through out the term of the 10th Kerala Legislative Assembly (1996-2001).
Election to the 11th Kerala Legislative Assembly was held on May 10, 2001. Shri. A.K.Antony was elected from Cherthala Constituency and the United Democratic Front (UDF) under his leadership was able to have a handsome victory of 99 seats out of 140. On May17, 2001, he took charge as Chief Minister of Kerala for a third term. Later he tendered the resignation of his Cabinet on August 29, 2004. While continuing as MLA, Shri.A.K.Antony was unanimously elected to the Rajya Sabha from Kerala in the bye-election on 27-5-2005 and he resigned his Membership in the Kerala Legislative Assembly on 8-6-2005.
Presently he has been serving as the Member of the Congress Working Committee (from 1992), Member of the Central Disciplinary Committee of the AICC (from 1993), Member of the Central Election Committee of the AICC (from 2001).
He has made remarkable contributions to the state. It was at his behest that the decision to construct the new Legislature Complex was taken in 1977. The introduction of Unemployment Allowance, Festival Allowance for the State Employees, Prohibition of arrack and the steps initiated to revive the economy of the State are some among them. He also took bold initiatives in the field of Higher Education, Science & Technology, Bio-Technology, Information Technology and other related areas.
Shri. Antony has his accomplishments in the field of journalism as well. He was Editor, Kalasala (weekly) during 1964-65 and was Editor, Printer and Publisher, Veekshanam (daily) during 1978- 82.
Smt.Elizabeth Antony, a Bank Officer is his wife and they have two sons, Mr. Anil Antony and Mr. Ajith Antony.
Keralites have proved their deligence and extra ordinary brillience through out the world. Keralites are well known for their honesty and efficiency in all fields. In the list of Prominent Personalities we have tried to include all famous personalities from Kerala. We are trying to collect the details of the rest. If you have the details of any such personalities, please send to us.