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Mathrubhumi chief and politician MP Veerendra Kumar passes away

He was an active politician and served as the top executive of the media house for 40 years

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MUMBAI: Mathrubhumi chairman managing director MP Veerendra Kumar, 84, passed away following a cardiac arrest in Kerala's Kozhikode district on Thursday night.

For nearly four decades, he served as the top executive of the media house which comprises Mathrubhumi newspaper and Mathrubhumi News television channel, Mathrubhumi online, and a slew of niche publications in print. He was  serving as an independent Rajya Sabha MP backed by the Left parties.

An active politician who followed the paths of socialist politician Jayprakash Narayan, Veerendra Kumar had undergone imprisonment during Emergency in 1975. None other than Jayprakash Narayan invited him to join the socialist party. He served as an all-India treasurer of the Samyukta Socialist Party from 1968 to 1970. Later, he joined the Janata Party and the Janata Dal factions. Later, he served as a union minister of state for finance and labour, and many times MP and MLA. An avowed champion of environmental issues, when he was the minister of forests in Kerala for a very short period, he infamously made his first order against cutting forests.

A prolific writer and author of several award-winning books, Veereendra Kumar wore many hats: media owner, politician, and author.

He was born to socialist leader and planter MK Padmaprabha Goudar and Marudevi Avva. He had his higher education from northern Kerala and from Cincinnati University, Ohio.

He is survived by his wife and four children. His son M V Shreyams Kumar is the joint managing director of Mathrubhumi.

The last rites will be held on Friday in the hilly district of Wayanad. 

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