Thrissur: Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) vice-president and the former Agriculture Minister P.P. George died at his residence here on Saturday. He was 72.
He was being treated for liver and bone cancer. The end came around 10.30 a.m. He was elected to the Assembly from Chalakudy in 1965, 1967 and 1970, from Thiruvambady in 1987 and from Ollur in 1991 and 2001. He was the Agriculture Minister in the 1991 Karunakaran Ministry.
He had held the posts of KPCC general secretary and Thrissur District Congress Committee president.
He was a prominent member of the Karunakaran faction in the State unit of the Congress. Mr. George chose to stay with the Congress when Karunkaran parted ways with the party and formed the Democratic Indira Congress (Karunakaran) on May 1, 2005.
Born to Puthucaud Paulose and Mary, Mr. George studied at the Puthukad St. Antony’s High School, Thrissur St.Thomas College and Government Training College. He started his career as a mathematics teacher in St. Antony’s High School at Puthucaud.
Later, he entered politics and became the district convener of the Liberation Struggle (Vimochana Samaram), which led to the dismissal of the E.M.S. Namboodiripad-led Communist government in 1959.
A collection of Mr. George’s speeches in the Assembly was published recently. He was writing his autobiography.
He is survived by his wife, a son and a daughter. The body will be laid to rest at the St. Antony’s Church cemetery at Puthucaud on Saturday at 3 p.m. The DCC put off its ‘Janamunnetta Yatra’, a road show led by its president C.N. Balakrishnan, as a tribute to Mr. George. A condolence meeting was held at the DCC office.
Speaker K. Radhakrishnan, Lonappan Nambadan, P.R. Rajan, both MPs, UDF convener P.P. Thankachan, AICC secretary Tom Vadakken, K.C. Joseph and Therambil Ramakrishnan, MLAs, P.C. Chacko, V.M. Sudheeran and NCP leader K. Muraleedharan were among those who paid their last respects.
Leader of the Opposition Oommen Chandy, KPCC president Ramesh Chennithala, KPCC vice-president Mullappally Ramachandran, Congress leaders G. Karthikeyan and M.M. Hassan, CMP leader M.V. Raghavan and Kerala Congress leader R. Balakrishna Pillai condoled the death of Mr. George.