Kerala Congress veteran CF Thomas MLA passes away

KOTTAYAM: Senior Kerala Congress leader and Changanassery MLA CF Thomas passed away at a private hospital in Thiruvalla on Sunday. He was 81. Thomas was under treatment for prolonged illness and breathed his last at around 9.45 am. Known for his simple demeanour and stern stance, C F Thomas aka Baby was a towering leader of Kerala Congress (M), who has been representing Changanassery constituency in the Kerala Legislative Assembly since 1980.

He also served as Rural Development Minister during A K Antony and Oommen Chandy Ministries between 2001and 2006. Thomas is also known as a strong loyalist of KC (M) stalwart K M Mani. Thomas stood by P J Joseph faction of KC (M) following the demise of Mani.

Born to C T Francis and Annamma in Chennikkara family at Changanassery on July 30, 1939, Thomas entered into politics through Kerala Students Union (KSU), the student wing of Indian National Congress, and became part of Kerala Congress since its inception in 1964. He held positions including KC (M) chairman, deputy chairman and various others during his more than six decades long political career.

Before shifting to a full-time politician, he was a teacher at St Berchman’s Higher Secondary School, Changanassery. He was elected as a legislator from Changanassery in 1980, 1982, 1987, 1991, 1996, 2001, 2006, 2011 and 2016.

He also worked as the Congress vice president of Changanassery Town (West) mandalam committee. He joined Kerala Congress on its formation and served as secretary and president of Changanassery Constituency; Kottayam district secretary, Kottayam; general secretary and chairman of KC (M). After the merger of three Kerala Congress groups in 2010, he was serving as its deputy chairman. He was also worked as the general secretary of Kerala Catholic Students League

Thomas leaves behind wife Kunjamma, son Saiju, daughters Sini and Anu, daughter in-law Leena and son in-laws Bobby and Manu.