New Delhi, Oct 24 (UNI) Known for his integrity and high values he holds in public life, Mr A K Antony, who entered politics as an activist of Kerala Student's Union (KSU), is the quintessence of political idealism.
Born on December 28, 1940 at Cherthala in Alappuzha district of Kerala, Mr Antony, the son of Arackaparambil Kurian Pillai and Elikutty, completed his primary education in Government High school, Cherthala, and took his Bachelor's degree from Maharajas College, Ernakulam, and BL from Government Law College, Eranakulam.
The 65-year-old Antony has been the Chief Minister of Kerala thrice. In 1977, he had become the youngest to hold the post in the State. He was the Leader of Opposition in the Kerala Assembly from 1996 to 2001.
As Chief Minister in 1996 , his decision to impose a ban on arrack (home-made liquor) won him popular support.
He is married to Elizabeth and has two sons, Anil Kurien and Ajith Paul.
He served as the president of KSU, Youth Congress and KPCC before becoming the AICC General Secretary in 1984. When he became KPCC president he was the youngest person ever to be elevated to that post. He was elected several times to the Congress Working Committee. He is still a CWC member and in charge of the party's Karnataka affairs.
At present, Mr Antony, who is an advocate by profession and one of the most respected politicians in the country, is a member of the Rajya Sabha.
Earlier, he was the member of the House from 1985 to 1991 and 1991 to 1995. He was also the Minister for Civil Supplies, Consumer Affairs and Public Distribution in the Narasimha Rao ministry in the latter period.
Mr Antony is one among the rarest leaders who is recognised and respected by all political parties and the people alike in all walks of life.
Mr Antony is proficient in Malayalam, English, Hindi and Tamil languages. He functioned as the editor and publisher of Veekshanam daily and Kalasala weekly. He visited several foreign countries such as Russia, Japan, France, Britian and Yugoslavia.
He is known for unquestionable honesty and uprightness in political circles.
And what could better describe this than his off-the-cuff remark which he made sometime ago that he did not believe in amassing personal wealth.
''I have not bought anything, not even a bicycle. My wife, a bank employee, owns four and a half cents of land bought through her earnings,'' he said.
UNI RL AT BD1947