Senior Congress leader PT Thomas, MLA from Kerala's Thrikkakkara, passes away

Thomas, a former MP, has been battling pancreatic cancer and was undergoing treatment at CMC Vellore, where he breathed his last at 10.15 am.

Published: 22nd December 2021 11:46 AM  |   Last Updated: 22nd December 2021 01:39 PM   |  A+A-

PT Thomas

Senior Congress leader PT Thomas

By Express News Service

KOCHI: PT Thomas, Congress MLA and KPCC Working President, known for his uncompromising stands on environmental issues, passed away on Wednesday. He was 70.

Thomas, a former MP, has been battling pancreatic cancer and was undergoing treatment at CMC Vellore, where he breathed his last at 10.15 am.

A four-time MLA and a former Member of Parliament, PT, as he is known among his close friends, rose through the ranks of the Congress party, beginning from his college days as a firebrand KSU leader at Maharaja's College, Ernakulam.

Thomas's relentless campaign supporting the Gadgil committee recommendations cost him dearly when Congress denied him the seat from Idukki parliamentary constituency in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections despite him winning the 2009 elections from the seat with a margin of 74,000 votes. Thomas had backed the recommendations of the Madhav Gadgil committee, saying it should be implemented after taking the people into confidence but his stance upset the Idukki diocese of the Syro Malabar Catholic Church. The Idukki Bishop had openly opposed Thomas's candidature, forcing Congress to drop him.

In his condolence message, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said in Thomas's demise, the state lost an outstanding parliamentarian, who was also known for making his views forcefully inside and outside the Assembly, irrespective of his party's stance. "He was also known for his organizational capabilities and speeches, both inside and outside the house," the CM said.

Rahul Gandhi, MP, in his condolence message, said PT Thomas will be remembered as a "vibrant, helpful person" along with "various contributions to the Congress party and the state of Kerala". Rahul, who is touring his constituency Wayanad, has abruptly ended the tour and will be in Kochi to pay his last respects to his senior party colleague.
 
Opposition leader VD Satheesan said in Thomas's death he has lost a committed party leader, a colleague, and a friend. "We were all praying that he would survive the ailment through the treatment," Satheesan said.

While he served as an MP from Idukki 2009-2014, Thomas was also elected as an MLA from Thodupuzha (1991-96, and 2001-2006). He is presently the sitting MLA from the Thrikkakkara constituency, from where he won in the 2016 and 2021 elections.

He is survived by his wife Uma Thomas, and two sons.



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