THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Veteran CPM leader V J Thankappan, 87, who had been a member of the E K Nayanar-led LDF Government, besides serving as pro-tem Speaker during V S Achuthanandan Government’s tenure, passed away at his residence here on Saturday morning following prolonged illness.
A redoubtable member of the CPM old guard, Thankappan had served four terms as an MLA - thrice elected from the Nemom seat(1983-1996) back-to-back and once from his home constituency of Neyyattinkara in 2006. His lone stint as Cabinet Minister came during 1987-1991 when he held the-then Local Administration portfolio.He was chairman, Committee on Papers Laid on the Table during 1995-1996 and vice- chairman of Third Administrative Reforms Committee. Thankappan also had a stint as Neyyattinkara municipality chairman.
Hailing from Aralumoodu in Neyyattinkara, Thankappan began his career as a clerk in KSRTC. Later, he joined Left politics in 1963. He leaves behind wife Bella, three sons and a daughter. His body was kept at the CPM’s Nemom office and Neyyattinkara municipal office for the public to pay homage before being taken to his ancestral Aralumoodu residence. The funeral will take place at his Aralumoodu residence at 11 am on Sunday.
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said Thankappan had made significant contributions for effective implementation of decentralisation. “He was a good administrator and MLA. As Local Administration Minister, he had made significant contributions,” the CM said.