Hundreds of party workers and general public gathered to pay their last respects to the former Sulthan Bathery MLA and veteran CPM leader P V Varghese Vaidyar, 90, who died at a private hospital at Kalpetta late on Saturday after a brief illness and age-related problems.
The cremation took place at the St Peter’s Jacobite Syrian Orthodox Cathedral, Meenangadi. CPM Politburo member Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, party leaders M V Jayarajan and P Jayarajan attended the funeral.
Vaidyar, who represented the Sulthan Bathery Assembly Constituency in 1996, was in the forefront of organising farmers’ movements in the district.
Born to Valakathu Pannakkal Varkey and Annamma of Kunnakkalkara village in the Muvattupuzha taluk on November 6, 1922, Vaidyar migrated to Wayanad in 1952 with his family and became active in social service through the Wayanad Taluk Revenue Land Owners’ Association.
Later, he joined the Communist Party and the Kerala Karshaka Sangam as per the directions of A K Gopalan. Before the formation of Wayanad district, he was a member of the Kozhikode District Committee and also the secretary of the North Wayanad taluk committee of the Karshaka Sangam.
Vaidyar became a member of the CPM Kozhikode District Committee after the party split in 1964.
He has been a member of the CPM Wayanad District Committee ever since the district came into existence as an administrative unit in 1980.
Vaidyar was also the acting district secretary of the party during the 1982-83 period. Vaidyar held many key positions in the party and was also the Meenangadi panchayat president for several years.
He was imprisoned along with AKG for taking part in the Mudavanmugal struggle for distribution of surplus land in 1970. He had lost two Assembly elections, in 1982 and 1991, to K K Ramachandran Master and K C Rosakutty, respectively.
Apart from being elected as the District Bank Director, Vaidyar was also a member of the State Housing Board and the North Wayanad Land Board.
The late Saramma of the Marottikal family in Muvattupuzha was his wife. Vaidyar is survived by sons George, Rajan and daughter Valsala.
The merchants in Meenangadi town observed a dawn-to-dusk hartal on Sunday to mourn the death of Vaidyar.