Special Correspondent

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Assembly paid glowing tributes to Mathai Chacko, the CPI(M) member, who passed away on Friday after a valiant fight against cancer.

Making the obituary reference, Speaker K. Radhakrishnan described Mathai Chacko as a young fighter who immersed his life in battle and as an efficient legislator. Mathai Chacko, who entered public life as an SFI activist, was in the forefront of all major student agitations between 1982 and 1987 and had later displayed irrepressible spirit and intensity as a campaigner in youth agitations,.

The Speaker recalled that it was Mathai Chacko's constant sorrow that he could not return to his constituency (Thiruvambadi) after being elected from there earlier this year.

Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan described him a courageous student and youth leader who always fought against injustice. He had been beaten up repeatedly, but had remained steadfast in his commitment to the struggles in which he was a participant. He was also an active presence among workers and farmers, the Chief Minister said. Describing Mathai Chacko's death a heavy loss, Leader of the Opposition Oommen Chandy said he had set an example as legislator and political activist.

Food Minister C. Divakaran, KC(M) leader K.M. Mani, Muslim League leader C.T. Ahammedali, Transport Minister Mathew T. Thomas, Public Works Minister T.O. Kuruvila, Water Resources Minister N.K. Premachandran and others paid their tributes to the departed member.

The House later observed one-minute silence in honour of Mathai Chacko.