Kochi: Thousands of people gathered to bid farewell to late Congress MLA PT Thomas who was cremated with state honours at Ravipuram crematorium on Thursday. As per his wish, religious rituals were avoided and his favourite song ‘Chandrakalabham Charthiyurangum Theeram’ was played throughout the funeral ceremony.
Though the leaders informed that his last rites would be at 5 pm, the ceremony was delayed as a huge number of people thronged to pay homage to the MLA.
Huge number of people gathered 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.
His funeral ceremony was held with full state honours including the guard of honour by Kerala police.
Congress national leader Rahul Gandhi, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, speaker MB Rajesh, ministers P Rajeev, K Rajan, Roshy Augustine, senior Congress leaders Ramesh Chennithala, Vayalar Ravi, K C Venugopal and leader of opposition in the state Assembly V D 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.
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.
(With added inputs from PTI)