Veteran Communist leader and former legislator R Prakasam died here on Saturday morning. He was 85. He was staying with his daughter and MLA Jameela Prakasam in Thirumala here.
Prakasam was a member of the Thiru-Kochi Assembly in 1954 and was elected to the first Kerala Legislative Assembly in 1957. Born in 1927, Prakasam entered politics at a young age. He was active in politics during his student days at the Madras Christian College and formally joined the Communist Party in 1946.
In 1952, he was elected chairman of the Attingal Municipality, thereby becoming the youngest Communist party member in the country to occupy such a post.
Prakasam was instrumental in setting up party units in the coastal areas of the capital district, especially in Attingal and Varkala. He was also active in organising the mass strike of transport workers in 1954 and had also been the president of the Kerala Madya Vyavasaya Thozhilali Union.
Prakasam held several key posts during his illustrious career. He was a member of the Kerala University Senate, Arbitration Board, Industrial Relations Board, Municipal Law Unification Committee and the High Power Watchdog Committee of the Government.
He is survived by wife Lily Prakasam, daughters Jameela Prakasam , Sindhu Prakasam, Soja Prakasam, Gireesh Kumar and late Sivakumar.
Janata Dal (S) national general secretary Neelalohithadasan Nadar is his son-in-law. Former Legislature secretary R Prasannan (late) and former Director of Agriculture R Heli are his brothers.
Prakasam’s body was taken to his ancestral house at Paripally on Saturday morning. Hundreds paid their last respects to the veteran leader, when his body was kept for the public to pay homage, at Asan Smarakam, Kayikkara and later at the Attingal Municipal office. The cremation was held at the public crematorium in Attingal at 5 p m.