MALAPPURAM: Senior Communist leader and former Kerala finance minister T Sivadasa Menon, 90, passed away on Tuesday. He breathed his last at a private hospital in Kozhikode while being under treatment for age-related illnesses. CPM politburo member A Vijayaraghavan remembered him as a strong Communist leader and parliamentarian. “Menon led a march to the Palakkad SP’s office in protest against the state government’s atrocity against tribals during the Muthanga protest. The police assaulted Menon during the march. Comrades had to make a human shield to protect him. The party workers shifted him to a nearby hospital on a cart of a peanut seller in the area,” he said.
CPM state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan said the police attacks never succeeded in dissuading the Communist leader from working for the people. “When the police attacked students at University College in Thiruvananthapuram during the UDF rule, Sivadasa Menon and I rushed to the college. At that time, the interventions of Menon protected the students from the police,” Kodiyeri recalled.
“Sivadasa Menon was the first option of many people and organisations when they wanted great speeches during meetings,” said former minister and speaker M Vijayakumar. Menon served as the minister for electricity and rural development in the second E K Nayanar government (from 1987 to 1991) and finance minister in the third Nayanar government (from 1996 to 2001). He also excelled as the Opposition’s chief whip after the LDF lost the assembly elections in 1991. He was elected to the state assembly three times from Malampuzha constituency. He also served as a member of the CPM state committee and state secretariat.
His wife Bhavani Amma passed away in 2003. Menon had been living at the residence of his daughter in Manjeri for the past 15 years. He is survived by daughters Lakshmi Devi and Kalyanikutty, sons-in-law Sreedharan and Karunakaran. His mortal remains were brought to his residence in Manjeri on Tuesday evening. The funeral will be held with state honours at 10.30am on Wednesday.