Kannur | Hundreds of people drawn from all walks of life and cutting across political barriers converged to pay last respects to Marxist Communist Party (CMP) founder leader M V Raghavan, whose mortal remains were consigned to flames here today. The cremation took place with full state honours at Payyambalam beach, the final resting place of several of Raghavan’s Communist colleagues including former Chief Minister E K Nayanar.Kerala Finance Minister K M Mani, Culture Minister K C Joseph and Agriculture Minister K P Mohanan, members of the bereaved family and leaders of all political parties including the CPI(M) turned up to offer final salute to Raghavan. A prominent figure in Kerala politics for decades and a former state minister, Raghavan (81) died yesterday due to age related ailments. Once a firebrand CPI(M) leader, Raghavan was expelled from the party in 1986 following sharp differences with the leadership, after which he formed CMP, which had been part of the Congressled UDF for long. A virulent face of the CPI(M) in the party bastion Kannur, he had a vital role in building its youth front. He was forced to go out of the party after the leadership rejected the ‘alternative’ tactical line he pressed, which made a strong case for an alliance with Indian Union Muslim League to take on the Congressled UDF in the state. A longtime legislator, known for his acerbic tongue and a penchant for provocations, Raghavan was elected to the Assembly three times after his expulsion from CPI(M) and earlier won four elections on the CPI(M) ticket. He served as minister for Cooperation in 91-1996 and 2001-06 UDF ministries. He is survived by wife, a daughter and three sons, two of whom M V Girish Kumar and M V Nikesh Kumar are journalists.
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