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People throng roads to pay tribute to CPI-M leader Kodiyeri Balakrishnan

People throng roads to pay tribute to CPI-M leader Kodiyeri Balakrishnan

Thiruvananthapuram,  After CPI-M leader Kodiyeri Balakrishnan's body was brought to his home district, Kannur in Kerala on Sunday, a huge crowd thronged both sides of the road to have a last glimpse of the departed leader.

Balakrishnan passed away at Appolo Hospital in Chennai on Saturday evening after a long-drawn battle with cancer.

His mortal remains reached Kannur airport at 1.15 p.m. on Sunday and the 23-km strech from Kannur airport to Thalassery townhall was filled with huge crowds on both sides of the road.

While the CPI-M Kannur District Committee has made arrangements at 11 places for people to pay homage to Balakrishnan, the huge crowd has prevented the vehicle from being stopped in between.

The CPI-M leadership has decided that the ambulance carrying Balakrishnan's mortal remains should not be stopped in between and people should be allowed to have a final glimpse of his body at the Thalassery townhall, where his body will be kept till late Sunday evening after which it will be taken to his residence 'Kodiyeri' in Ingayil Peedika, Thalassery.

Karayi Chandrashekaran, CPI-M leader who is accompanying the mortal remains of the departed leader, told IANS: "The huge crowd on both sides of the road has prevented us from taking the ambulance. The body will be kept at Thalassery townhall for people to pay their last respects."

Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, who shot to prominence after becoming the State SFI Secretary at the age of 20, became a CPI-M MLA from Thalassery at age 29.

In between, he served one-and-a-half years of prison term during the Emergency and shared a cell at the Kannur Central jail with Pinarayi Vijayan, the present Chief Minister of Kerala.

The body of Kodiyeri Balakrishnan will be taken to the CPI-M District Committee office on Monday morning and people can pay their last respects to the departed leader from 10 a.m. at the party district committee office.

The funeral of the late leader will take place at the Payyambalam beach at 3 p.m. on Monday.

Kodiyeri Balakrishnan has been a five-term MLA from Thalassery since 1982 and has been the state Home and Tourism Minister in the V.S. Achuthanandan Cabinet.

At the time of his death, he was a Politburo member of CPI-M, which is the highest decision-making body in the party.

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