Marxist veteran V S Achuthanandan, who was sidelined by the CPI(M) for the Chief Ministerial post, on Sunday said he was hale and hearty and would continue his fight against corruption and communalism till his last breath.
"I am completely healthy", the 92-year-old veteran said interacting with children of the Nirbhaya Debating Society, a forum of students for various intellectual and social activities, who had gathered to facilitate him in Thiruvananthapuram.
"There are no health issues. During the campaign for the May 16 polls, I had campaigned from Parasala to Kannur, addressed several meetings. My health now is the same as during the campaign. Is there any change in me now?," he asked.
The former Chief Minister, who held the top post from 2006-11, was the face of LDF campaign during the May 16 Assembly polls.
The remarks assumes significance as CPI(M) General secretary Sitaram Yechury, while describing Achuthanandan as "Fidel Castro of Kerala" had decided to choose Pinarayi Vijayan for the Chief Minister's post keeping in mind his advanced age and physical limitations.
In a Facebook post today, Achuthanandan said he would continue his fight against corruption and communalism "until my last breath."
"I am not stopping my struggles I have undertaken so far.
I will continue my fights against corruption, communalism and to protect the nature, soil and pride of Kerala until my last breath," he said.
He said political rivals had tried to target him and "trap" him in cases when he attempted to expose Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
"But people, who always stood with me in my fights, have given me all support. They have ushered in LDF by giving them a historic mandate of 91 seats," he said.
Referring to the fierce statewide campaign he undertook, he said he had to fulfil a "historic responsibility" at the May 16 polls and that was why he had decided to contest accepting the direction of the party central leadership.
"The victory of LDF in Kerala was essential to retain the strength of the Communist parties, who carry out relentless fight against communal forces at the national level," he said.
While announcing that he was stepping down as Leader of Opposition in the assembly, Achuthanandan had said here on Saturday that he would continue to play the role of a "sentinel" of the people of Kerala.
He was elected from Malampuzha constituency in Palakkad district by a margin of 27,142 votes.