Senior Congress leader and Thrikkakara MLA PT Thomas was on Thursday, December 23, cremated with full state honours as Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi and a large number of people paid their last respects to the bold and popular leader of the party in Kerala for his uncompromising stand on various issues including the environment. As per his wishes, the cremation was held at Ravipuram crematorium in Kochi.
Noted Malayalam poet and lyricist Vayalar Ramavarma's famous song Chandrakalabham Chaarthiyurangum Theeram was played at a low pitch during the cremation. His son lit the funeral pyre. Thousands of people paid homage to Thomas at various locations in Idukki and Ernakulam districts as his body was brought by road from Vellore in Tamil Nadu, where he died on December 22 while undergoing treatment for cancer.
The mortal remains were brought to Kochi from Vellore via Idukki, his stronghold, where hundreds of people gathered at various points to pay their last respects. Rahul Gandhi, who flew down to Kerala on Wednesday for his Lok Sabha constituency visit in Wayanad, reached Kochi on Thursday to pay homage to his departed party colleague.
Chief Minister Vijayan, his cabinet colleagues including P Rajeev and Roshy Augustine, Speaker MB Rajesh, former Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, senior Congress leaders Ramesh Chennithala, Vayalar Ravi, KC Venugopal and Leader of Opposition in the state Assembly VD Satheesan paid their last respects to Thomas.
Thomas, who was elected as MLA from the Thrikkakara Assembly seat in April this year for the second consecutive term, represented Idukki in Lok Sabha during 2009-2014. He also represented Thodupuzha Assembly constituency in Idukki district twice.
A Working President of the Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) at the time of his demise, Thomas rose to the higher rungs of the party by sheer hard work, dedication and unflinching faith in the ideals of the organisation which he loyally served for over five decades. Thomas was not a run-of-the-mill politician as he sincerely took up issues of larger concerns like protection of the Western Ghats.