Acting on a complaint, Kerala Police chief Loknath Behra on Saturday ordered a Crime Branch probe into the death of Nationalist Congress Party (NCP)'s state unit President Uzhavoor Vijayan, who passed away on July 23.
The NCP is an ally of the ruling Left Democratic Front (LDF) and has two legislators in the government, including a cabinet minister.
It was the Kottayam district unit of the NCP that first wrote to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan that there was a need to probe the death of their party's state chief.
The complaint that the Chief Minister received was forwarded to Behra, who on Saturday directed IG of Police S. Sreejith to submit a report after conducting a probe into the complaint.
It was on July 23 early morning that 60-year-old Uzhavoor Vijayan breathed his last at a private hospital in Thiruvananthapuram. He had been admitted there since the beginning of July as he was suffering from cardiac and gastrointestinal ailments.
Ever since the death of the state NCP chief, top party leaders have been expressing differing views with regard to the reason of his death.
With the media also joining the issue, the Kottayam unit of the party -- the home unit of the departed leader -- decided to write to the Chief Minister seeking a probe into his death.
A hugely popular leader, Uzhavoor Vijayan was known for his humour and during his four decades in active politics, he rubbed shoulders with all the leading Congress leaders in Kerala, including A.K. Antony, Oommen Chandy, V.M. Sudheeran and Ramesh Chennithala.
He parted ways with the Congress following a split in the party during the Emergency days and never returned, even though his contemporaries like Antony and others returned to the Congress fold.
Since then, he was the top leader of the then Congress (S) and when the NCP Kerala unit was formed, he was one of the first leaders to have pledged support to Sharad Pawar, the NCP President.