KOTTAYAM: M M Jacob, Senior Congress leader and former Governor of Meghalaya, died of age related illness here on Sunday. He was 90. Jacob, who was leading a normal life in his ancestral residence in Ramapuram near Pala, after decades-long public service, felt some uneasiness in the morning. Though, he was taken to a private hospital in Pala, he breathed his last by 8 am. His mortal remains will be brought to his residence soon and funeral will be held at St Augustine's Church, Ramapuram at 2 pm on Monday. Late Achamma of Kunnuthara family in Thiruvalla is his wife and Jaya, Jessy, Elizabeth and Rachel are his daughters.
During six decades long public service he held various positions in national and state level politics. Jacob, who became Central Minister three times, held the position of the Governor of Meghalaya for 12 consecutive years, from 1995 to 2007. He was elected to Rajya Sabha in 1982 and 1988 and became the first Malayali to hold the post of Rajya Sabha deputy chairman in 1986.
Born to Ulahannan Mathew and Rosamma, hailing from Mundakkal house, Ramapuram on August 9, 1928, Jacob completed his schooling in Ramapuram and joined University College, Thiruvananthapuram for higher studies. However, he had to take a break in his college life following participating in Freedom Struggle.
Later, he resumed his higher studies at SH College, Thevara, Layola College, Madras, Luknow and Chicago universities.He entered in to public service through the 'bhoodan' movement of Vinoba Bhave and later joined Congress. He became a member of Bharath Sevak Samaj (BSS) founded by Jawaharlal Nehru in 1954, which became a turning point in his life. Jacob became national vice president of BSS, which helped him making a good rapport with Jawaharlal and family. He became Union minister of State in the ministries of Rajiv Gandhi and P V Narasimha Rao between 1986 and 1993.
Though, he contested in Legislative Assembly elections in 1970 and 1980 in Pala, he was defeated by K M Mani. He also held organizational positions like KPCC general secretary, treasurer, AICC member and AICC general secretary.He had the opportunity to address the United Nations general assembly representing India in 1985 and 1993.