Kerala civil supplies minister TM Jacob died Sunday night at a private hospital here, according to family sources. He was 61.
Jacob, who led the Kerala Congress-Jacob and was its sole legislator, was ailing for some time and was in and out of hospital since he became a minister this May.
He is survived by his wife, a banker and a son and a daughter.
Making his maiden entry into the assembly in 1977 from the Piravam constituency in Ernakulam district, he won every election till 2001.
At the 2006 assembly polls, Jacob lost the elections for the first time but came back in the 2011 assembly polls.
He first became a minister in the K. Karunakaran cabinet on two occasions, 1982-1987 and then 1991-1995.
Then he became a minister in the AK Antony cabinet on two occasions, first from 1995-1996 and then again from 2001-04. But he was dropped when Chandy became the chief minister replacing Antony in 2004.
Jacob, for a brief while in 2005, dissolved his party and merged with the Democratic Indira Congress-Karunakaran formed by Karunakaran after leaving Congress. But after his defeat in the 2006 assembly polls, he re-launched his own party and again became an ally of the Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF).
Government chief whip PC George said that chief minister Oommen Chandy was expected to hold an emergency cabinet meeting to decide about the funeral.
The ongoing assembly session is most likely to adjourn for the day after paying tributes to Jacob.
With the death of Jacob, the strength of the UDF has come down from 72 seats to 71 in the 140 member assembly.