MI Shanavas, one of the three newly-appointed working presidents of the Congress in Kerala and it’s Lok Sabha MP from the Wayanad constituency, passed away at a private hospital in Chennai in the early hours of Wednesday following liver complications. He was 67.
An official at Dr Rela Medical and Research Centre in Chromepet, Chennai, where the Congress MP was admitted on November 1, said the death occurred at 1:30 am in the morning. He had undergone a liver transplant on Nov 2 following which infection led to his condition turning critical. For several days, he had been admitted in the intensive care unit of the hospital.
Shanavas had begun his politics through the Kerala Students Union (KSU), the student outfit of the party in the state. During his KSU days, he held the post of the chairman of the Calicut university student body. He went on to become the vice-president of the Youth congress, joint secretary of the Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) and later it’s vice president as well.
A son of renowned lawyer MK Ibrahimkutty, Shanavas’s initial forays into electoral politics had ended in painful defeats. He contested from Vadakkekara constituency in 1987 and 1991 and then from Pattambi in 1996. He lost all three of them. He then mounted a Lok Sabha fight for his party from Chirayinkeezhu in 1999.and 2004, again to lose both times. But five years later, the hilly constituency of Wayanad in north Kerala gave Shanavas his safe haven, helping him get elected to Lok Sabha for the first time with one of the biggest margins in that election. In 2014, he was re-elected from Wayanad, defeating Sathyan Mokeri of the LDF.
In Shanavas’s passing away, the Congress in Kerala loses one of its trusted and prominent Muslim leaders. Earlier this year, he was appointed one of the three working presidents of the party along with Mavelikkara MP Kodikkunil Suresh and former Kannur MP K Sudhakaran.