Thiruvananthapuram: Senior Communist Party of India (CPI) leader and former Kerala Minister E. Chandrasekharan Nair passed away on Wednesday. He was 88.

According to the party, he was suffering from age-related illness and breathed his last at a hospital here. He was to have turned 89 on Saturday. A lawyer by profession, Nair is survived by his wife, a son and a daughter. Nair, one of Kerala's gentleman politicians, was the architect of streamlining the Public Distribution System by launching Maveli stores (fair price shops).

He was a member of the first Kerala Legislative Assembly in 1957 and after that he was elected five more times. After 2001, he retired from active politics. He was state Minister on three different occasions and handled the Food and Civil Supplies and Tourism portfolio. The last rites would be held here on Friday. (IANS)