Former Kerala Minister and Congress leader P Sankaran passed away on Tuesday night in Kozhikode district. The 73-year-old Congress leader was under treatment for cancer and died at a private hospital in the district.
Sankaran had headed multiple departments as a minister in the AK Antony-led United Democratic Front (UDF) government in the 2001-04 period. He had headed the Health and Tourism departments as a minister. He was also elected as a Member of Parliament to Lok Sabha in 1998. He was elected to Kerala Assembly as an MLA from the Koyilandy constituency in Kozhikode.
He was a prominent leader of the Democratic Indira Congress (K). He had also held various posts in the Kozhikode District Congress Committee and Youth Congress. Sankaran had also held the post of Director Board Member of Public Undertakings such as Central Manufacturing Technology Institute in Bengaluru and Plantation Corporation of Kerala Limited in Kottayam.
Born as the son of freedom fighter parents Kelu Nair and Makkam Amma, Sankaran was a lawyer by profession. Like his peers of the times, P Sankaran had also entered politics through student agitations while he was a teenager. Being a staunch supporter of Indira Gandhi, Sankaran had been arrested and jailed for protesting against the arrest of Indira Gandhi after the national Emergency was called off in 1977.
He had also held the post of vice-chairman of Calicut University during the 1973-74 period and was also the first student syndicate member of Calicut University in 1975-76.
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Wednesday condoled the death of the Congress leader. He said that P Sankaran was a leader who had a close relationship with people. Meanwhile, Opposition Leader Ramesh Chennithala also expressed his condolences on the death of the senior Congress leader. “I had personal ties with the leader. His death is a personal loss for me and for the party,” Chennithala wrote on Facebook.