Eranpala Krishnan Nayanar, affectionately called E.K. Nayanar claims the distinction of serving for the
longest term as the Chief Minister of Kerala State. A real stalwart and people’s leader , Shri. Nayanar
was born on December 9, 1919 as the son of Shri Govindan Nambiar at Kalliassery in Kannur District.
A staunch believer in Marxist ideals, he was drawn into the fold of the Communist Movement, at a
relatively young age. He was in the forefront of struggles against oppression, at all times, and was
instrumental in organising strikes and agitations of industrial and agricultural workers. And in the
historical struggle of peasants in Malabar, which came to be known as “Kayyur struggle” he was an
active participant. He was also part of the “Morazha” episode, a memorable revolt against British
Rule in Malabar. His involvement in these two struggles resulted in him being compelled to carry out
his activities, underground, for about six years.
A committed revolutionary, in the full sense of the term, Shri. Nayanar had been arrested and imprisoned
several times , the first being in 1940 , for organizing a strike in the Aaron Mills, Kannur. He had to
undergo imprisonment , again for a period of three years, later, when the Communist Party was
banned in the country. And, during 1964-67 he was detained for three years under the PD Act.
Further ahead, he had to go underground also during 1975-77, in connection with the Emergency, to
further the cause of the Left Democratic movement.
Shri. E.K. Nayanar became elected to the Lok Sabha in 1967 from Palghat and served as an MP till
1970. Subsequently in 1974, he became elected to the Kerala Legislative Assembly too, for the very
first time, contesting from Irikkur constituency, through a bye-election held on May 3, 1974.
Shri. E.K. Nayanar was re-elected after that in 1980, 1982, 1987 and 1991 . In the year 1996 too,
Shri. Nayanar was part of the Kerala Assembly, when he was elected for the fifth time in a row, through
another bye-election held on October 13, 1996 from Tellicherry constituency.
Shri. E.K. Nayanar came to occupy the Chair of Chief Minister , for the first time on January 25, 1980
and continued upto October 20, 1981. He occupied the chair again from March 26, 1987 to June
17, 1991 and from May 20, 1996 to May 13, 2001. During the period from 1981 to 82 , 1982 to
1987 and 1991 to 1992 Shri. Nayanar also served as Leader of Opposition in the Assembly.
Shri. E.K. Nayanar’s tenure as Chief Minister was witness to several progressive reforms, especially
in the Land Reforms and Labour Welfare sectors. The Kerala Coir workers Welfare Fund Act, 1987,
The Kerala Khadi Workers’ Welfare Fund Act, 1989, The Kerala Abkari Workers Welfare Fund Act,
1989, The Kerala Construction workers’ Welfare Fund Act, 1989 and the Kerala Ration Dealer’s
Welfare Fund Act 1998 were some of the landmark labour related legislations enacted during his
stewardship. The establishment of the Kannur University is also another hallmark in his administration.
In the course of an illustrious career spanning more than six decades, Shri Nayanar has also held
several high positions within the Communist Party. He had served as Secretary, State Committee of
CPI (M) during 1972-80 and 1991-96. He had also been a Member of the CPI (M) Polit bureau.
A gifted writer with an amazing sense of humour , which, no doubt, proved helpful to him in tiding over
tiring situations, Shri Nayanar also had a commendable stint as the Editor of “Deshabhimani” daily,
during 1982-86 and 1991 – 96, contributing innumerable articles on political, socio - economic and
And alongwith writing poems in his early days, Shri. Nayanar also has to his credit about twenty
volumes on various subjects including literature and journalism.
In addition, he has
authored a bio-graphical work, ‘My struggle .’
A man of great affability and personal charm there was nothing that he touched, that he did not adorn.
And Shri. Nayanar’s ability to see humour in the most despairing of situations was, perhaps, the
factor which proved instrumental in grooming him into an orator of the highest calibre and crowd
puller, when it came to standing before the mike.
Smt. Sarada Teacher is his wife and they have two sons and two daughters.
Shri. E.K. Nayanar passed away on May 19, 2004 .
The Assembly paid its homage to him on June 25, 2004.