M V Raghavan, firebrand Communist who dared CPI(M), passes away

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CPI(M) leader M V Raghavan dead
Kannur (Ker), Nov 9: Marxist Communist Party (CMP) founder leader M V Raghavan, a prominent figure in Kerala politics for decades, died today after prolonged illness.

A former minister, Raghavan (81) had been confined to home for the last two years due to Pakrinsons disease besides age-related ailments. He breathed his last at nearby Pariyaram Co-operative Medical College Hospital, an institution founded by him, according to his family.

Once a firebrand CPI(M) leader, Raghavan was expelled from the party in 1986 following sharp differences with the leadership. 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 (IUML) to take on the Congress-led UDF in the state.

While several leaders, including former chief minister E K Nayanar, backed his line initially, most of them eventually toed the party's official policy. But Raghavan stood firm by his theory, leading to his expulsion along with some of his close collaborators from the CPI(M) and formation of CMP.

Ironically, CMP straightaway joined the UDF with the late Congress veteran K Karunakaran blessing the union, atoning Raghavan's past when he used to be the spearhead of CPI(M)'s attack on him in the state assembly and outside.

A long-time 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). He served as minister for Co-operation in 1991-1996 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.

A faction of the CMP, including some of his family members, recently pulled out of the UDF and moved closer to the LDF.


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