The Assembly on Monday paid glowing tributes to former President Pranab Mukherjee and senior Kerala Congress leader and MLA C.F. Thomas who passed away last year. The Assembly, in an obituary reference, remembered Mukherjee, who passed away on August 31, 2020, as a President who upheld the prestige of the nation on the international stage. Speaker P. Sreeramakrishnan said Mukherjee left his mark as a statesman and an able administrator. A soft-spoken personality, Mukherjee, as the 13th President, was able to take decisions rooted in Constitutional values, which were also not limited by considerations of party politics, Mr. Sreeramakrishnan said.Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan remembered Mukherjee as a politician and President who upheld secular and democratic values. He stood for the protection and strengthening of Constitutional values. A direct heir to the Nehruvian political legacy, he adopted anti-imperialist and pro-socialist stances at critical junctures. Mukherjee was a rare politician who combined in himself a remarkable depth of knowledge and the value of experience, Vijayan said. Mukherjee exemplified Machiavelli’s precept that “It is not titles that honour men, but men that honour titles,” Leader of Opposition Ramesh Chennithala said.
Mr. Thomas, who passed away on September 27 last year, was remembered as a politician who personified clean politics. An MLA who represented Changanassery since 1980, Mr. Thomas was Minister for Registration, Rural Development and Khadi in the A.K. Antony and Oommen Chandy ministries, Mr. Sreeramakrishnan said in his obituary reference. Mr. Thomas voiced the issues and plight of high range farmers in the House, the Chief Minister said. He was strongly opposed to liberalised trade pacts that were inimical to the interests of farmers, Mr. Vijayan said. Mr. Chennithala remembered Mr. Thomas as a mature politician who was not interested in power politics.
The Assembly adjourned for the day after taking up the obituary references.