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Communist leader MV Raghavan dead

Veteran Communist leader and former minister MV Raghavan died in Kerala's Kannur district, according to his family.

PTI| Updated: Nov 09, 2014, 16:35 PM IST

Kannur: Veteran Communist leader and former minister MV Raghavan died in Kerala's Kannur district, according to his family.

Arrangements are being made for his funeral here Monday.

Raghavan, 81, was a brilliant orator. He was expelled from the Communist Party of India (Marxist) (CPI-M) in 1985 due to difference of opinion over the formation of an alliance. Raghavan formed the Communist Marxist Party the next year and since then his party has been an ally of the Congress led United Democratic Front.

Though, he was a seven-time legislator, he became a minister on only two occasions (1991 to 1996 and 2001 to 2006).

He chose to contest from one constituency only once.

Raghavan, however, lost in the 1996, 2006 and 2011 assembly polls, after which he began suffering from age related illness and was keeping a low profile. Raghavan became a communist at the age of 16 and worked under the legendary Communist leader from Kerala, A.K. Gopalan.

He was a weaver in Kannur and rose form that position to become a trade union leader and later a powerful leader. He was the party state secretary at Kannur in 1967 and later became the state secretariat member of the CPI-M.

When the Communist party split in 1964, it was Raghavan who worked hard to ensure that the CPI-M does not loose to the CPI.

While at the helm of affairs in the party, he helped each and every leader of the party, that includes the present state CPI-M secretary Pinarayi Vijayan.

Both Raghavan and Vijayan made their debut in the fourth Kerala legislative assembly in 1970.

In 1985, Raghavan presented an alternate line before the CPI-M for forming an alliance with parties like the Muslim League and Kerala Congress in order to take on an alliance led by the Congress.

But he and his idea were rejected by the CPI-M. In 1987, he defeated CPI-M leader E.P. Jayarajan from the Azhikode assembly constituency.

When the CPI-M came to power in 1996-2001, it took on Raghavan by arresting him in 1997.