K V Thomas | Photo: Mathrubhumi
Kuruppasserry Varkey Thomas has seen everything a Kerala politician can dream about. He has been to the state assembly, became a part of the cabinet, been to parliament and become a minister there too.
The only thing that remains unchecked on his list is probably becoming the chief minister of the state. There is no way for him to check that off his list now. Yet, he has taken a significant step at this juncture.
Born in Kumbalangi in Ernakulam district, he served as a chemistry faculty at Sacred Hearts College, Thevara. He was the head of the department in 2001 when he got a chance to contest the assembly polls.
He climbed up on the party ladder from ground zero. He was a ward committee president in the early 1970s and went on to become DCC president and KPCC treasurer.
He was active in INTUC in the meanwhile. Thomas was the organising secretary and general secretary of INTUC in Kerala.
Thomas was a member of Lok Sabha for 22 years (1984-1996, 2009-2019). He handled ministries of excise, tourism and fisheries between 2001 and 2004 in the Antony government. He was also the Minister of State for Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution in the second UPA government. Thomas was instrumental in implementing the National Food Security Act of 2013.
He had almost joined CPM when Congress denied a ticket in the previous assembly election after 'ditching' him at the Lok Sabha polls. However, with an organisational duty entrusted minutes before he was to leave for the press conference to announce quitting, the grand old party pacified him. Now, it seems as though that was not enough.
Congress won't lose anything if Thomas joins the CPM bandwagon. He has already lost his credibility in his constituency. If CPM thinks that he would be able to win Ernakulam for them, they are mistaken.
Congress leadership also seems to have acted thoughtlessly. They could have just allowed both Shashi Tharoor and Thomas to attend the CPM seminar. Congress has unnecessarily created a political situation that CPM has exploited.
Thomas 'Mash' is turning 76 next month. As CPM is letting its tallest leaders above 75 'rest', it is unclear what is ahead for him in the ruling party. Is candidature in another election a deal-breaker for a man who is a Congressman from top to toe and was a legislator for a long period of his political life? We have to wait and see.