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KPCC working president M.I. Shanavas passes away

Shanavas was under treatment at a private hospital in Chennai following liver transplant

MI Shanavas, one of the three working presidents of the Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) and sitting member of the Lok Sabha representing Wayanad, died at a private hospital in Chennai in the early hours of Wednesday.

He was 67. Shanavas was under treatment at the hospital following liver transplant. The mortal remains will be brought to his home near North Railway station in Ernakulam on Wednesday afternoon where it will be kept for the public to pay homage. The funeral will be held on Thursday.

Shanavas was admitted to the hospital on October 31 and the surgery was conducted on November 2. But as his condition worsened, senior Congress leaders, including KPCC president Mullapally Ramchandran and former Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, visited him at the hospital. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan also enquired about his health over the phone.

Born in 1951 in Alappuzha, Shanavas secured post-graduation in English from Farook College in Kozhikode and a degree in law from the Government Law College in Ernakulam.

He was active in student politics and had functioned as Calicut University union chairman, Youth Congress vice-president and KPCC general secretary and vice-president. He was part of the ‘Thiruthalvadi’ (correctionist) trio along with Ramesh Chennithala and G. Karthikeyan that led a rebellion against their mentor, ‘Leader’ K. Karunakaran in the 1990s.

But his political fortunes nosedived as he tasted defeat in the next five Lok Sabha elections, setting an unenviable record. A reversal of fortunes came when he got elected to the Lok Sabha from Wayanad with a record majority of over a lakh votes defeating his mentor’s son K. Muraleedharan, who contested on a Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) ticket. He got re-elected from Wayanad in 2014.

Shanavas, once an active face of the party on news channels, suddenly disappeared from the scene after he was diagnosed with cancer in the liver. But the party elevated him to function as one of its three working presidents early this year.

Our Chennai Special Correspondent reports:

The mortal remains of Shanavas , who was declared dead at 1:30 a.m. in Chennai on Wednesday, will be flown to Kochi by a 11.15 a.m. flight.

Tamil Nadu Congress Committee president Su. Thirunavukkarasar, who was on his way to meet Shanavas’ family at Chromepet, said, “KPCC president Mullappally Ramachandran called me in the morning. The TNCC will extend all help to the MP’s family. The MP’s body has been taken to the General Hospital for embalming,”. Mr. Thirunavukkarasar also said that he intended to travel to the airport later.

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