The Congressman who stood with Madhav Gadgil

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PT Thomas leaves a indelible mark in Kerala politics, something that stays longer than what one might expect. As a leader and as a parliamentarian, PT Thomas has played a significant role in uplifting the party at a time when the UDF strongholds crumbled beneath the stride of LDF in the post-Oommen Chandy era. His staunch criticism of Pinarayi Vijayan-led ministry made him a paramount figure for the opposition in the Kerala assembly in recent years.

At the same time, he openly criticised his party compatriots during times when he felt he is right. His infamous stand on supporting the Gadgil Report and subsequent omission from contesting his sitting seat of Idukki during the 2014 Lok Sabha elections speaks a lot about his unflinching commitment to his stand.

Thomas had aways supported the Gadgil report and said the agitations against the Gadgil and Kasturirangan committee reports were unwarranted. His statements on preserving the Western Ghats were made despite strong opposition from Christian communities, churches- a notable vote bank of congress in Idukki- and others who traditionally favoured congress.

Despite fear of losing votes, he stuck to his stand till the very end and went ahead in educating the people about the destruction of Western Ghats and its significance. He warned people of the long term implications of not realising the facts put forward by the report. Though he was denied his seat in 2014 election, congress brought him back to mainstream politics in 2016 election.

He later said that he had no remorse in losing his seat in Idukki and only wanted the concerned government to consider the Madhav Gadgil committee report to protect their land, livelihood and all other rights.

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