As Kerala faces one of the crucial elections in the state, CPI(M) veteran and former Chief Minister VS Achuthanandan could not vote this time due to health reasons. VS, as he is fondly called, was not able to travel to his native in Alappuzha to cast his vote. The veteran leader has been leading a retired life at his residence in Thiruvananthapuram.
Though he had applied for postal vote, VS couldn't make it because of the Election Commission's norm that those above 80 years need to be residents of the same constituency where they have votes, to be eligible for a postal vote. VS is 97 years old and has been inactive in politics following an internal haemorrhage in the brain in October 2019. The former Chief Minister is currently the MLA of Malampuzha constituency in Palakkad.
"He had requested for a postal vote in which the address given was of his Thiruvananthapuram residence. But the Election Commission officials, who had gone to collect the vote in Alappuzha, informed us that it is not the norm to collect the vote where he resides now," Sasidharan, VS Achuthanandanâ€™s private secretary, told TNM.
VS Achuthanandan's vote is at the Paravur Punnapra Higher Secondary School in Alappuzhaâ€™s Ambalapuzha constituency. While his wife Vasumathi also did not go to Alappuzha to vote, his son VA Arun Kumar and family voted in the morning at the school, the Asianet News reports.
VS Achuthanandan had been appointed as the chairman of the State Administrative Reforms Commission in August 2016 after the CPI(M)-led Left Democratic Front (LDF) government came to power in May 2016. VS, however, quit the post in January this year, citing his inability to continue his duties owing to health reasons.
The mass leader was last seen active on a political platform while campaigning for LDF candidate VK Prasanth in Thiruvananthapuram's Vattiyoorkkav constituency in the 2019 Assembly bye-elections.