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Bengaluru: MI Shanavas, once a roaring reformist within Congress in Kerala, and current working president and Member of Parliament from Wayanad, died in a Chennai hospital on Wednesday morning after complications rose out of a liver transplant. He was 67.

His death marks the end of an era of young rebels within Congress. The trio of Shanavas, Ramesh Chennithala, the late G Karthikeyan formed ‘Thiruthalvadi’ (Correctionist) group within the Congress in the 1990s, standing up against former chief minister and then face of the party in Kerala, late K. Karunakaran.

The young turks took up an open quarrel against the near hegemonic Congress leader bestowing undue favours on his son, K Muraleedharan, then a novice in Kerala politics. Eventually, it led to Karunakaran’s ousting from power and the party, and the passing the reins on to younger faces in Congress.

Shanavas was critically ill for several years now. He survived cancer a few years ago, but it returned and spread to his liver recently. He was admitted to Dr Rela Institute in Chennai, a medical facility known for liver diseases and transplantations, on 31 October. On 2 November, he underwent a surgery after which the health deteriorated following infection.

Shanavas was born to M V Ibrahimkutty and Noorjahan in 1951. He was initiated into Congress politics through its student’s arm Kerala Students Union and later the youth outfit Youth Congress. He has been a member of Kerala Pradesh Congress committee, the party’s highest decision making body, since 1983. He was representing Wayanad for the second time in a row. In 2009, he won after five unsuccessful contests, with the biggest margin for any candidate in Kerala.

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