Senior CPI(M) leader Balakrishnan dies
A polit bureau member of the party, 69-year-old Kodiyeri Balakrishnan served as the CPI(M)’s state secretary from 2015 to 2022.
Senior Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader and former Kerala home minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan died at Apollo Hospital in Chennai where he was undergoing treatment, the party said on Saturday. A polit bureau member of the party, the 69-year-old served as the CPI(M)’s state secretary from 2015 to 2022.
A multiple-time MLA, he also served as the minister of home and tourism affairs in the VS Achuthanandan ministry in Kerala from 2006 to 2011.
Due to his depleting health, he stepped down as the party state secretary in August this year.
“It is with deep grief and sorrow that we give the news of the passing away of Veteran communist Comrade Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, Polit Bureau member of the CPI(M) and former Secretary of Kerala State Committee. We dip the red flag in homage,” the CPI(M) tweeted.
CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury said Balakrishnan dedicated his life towards relentlessly working for social transformation.
“Deeply mourn the passing away of Comrade Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, a longstanding comrade in arms, Polit bureau member, steadfast communist, ardent champion of the toiling people and relentlessly working for social transformation of Indian society that is free from exploitation,” he tweeted. He added that the former Kerala minister stood against inequality.
“He uncompromisingly fought against sectarian and religious bigotry, respecting equality for all, justice and emancipation. His balanced approach and affable demeanour has weathered many a crisis. Farewell, dear Comrade Kodiyeri,” Yechury tweeted.
Kerala chief minister and CPI(M) leader Pinarayi Vijayan paid homage to Balakrishnan, calling him an astute leader who worked towards the upliftment of the downtrodden.
“The demise of my dear comrade and friend Kodiyeri Balakrishnan leaves me devastated. He was an astute leader who dedicated his entire life to build the communist movement and uplift the downtrodden. He will continue to inspire us in our struggles. Red Salute, Comrade,” he tweeted.
Kerala Assembly Speaker A N Shamseer shared a photo of the departed leader in his Facebook post and said “Gone from our sight, but never from our hearts. Adieu Dear Balakrishnetta”.
DMK president and Tamil Nadu chief minister MK Stalin also paid tributes to Balakrishnan.
“Paid my last respects to CPI(m) Polit Bureau Member and 3 time Kerala State Secy Thiru. Kodiyeri Balakrishnan. Com. Kodiyeri was an unyielding personality and was even jailed under MISA during the Emergency in 1975. My heartfelt condolences to his family & CPI(M) comrades,” he tweeted.