Former minister Cyriac John, who established Krishi Bhavans throughout Kerala, dies at 90

Cyriac John. File photo: Manorama

Kozhikode: Veteran Congress leader and Kerala's former Minister for Agriculture, P Cyriac John, died at a Palliative Care Institute in Kozhikode Thursday night. He was 90.

Cyriac had not been active in politics for several years. However, in his prime, Cyriac was a four-time member of the Kerala Legislative Assembly.

He was a minister in K Karunakaran's cabinet and was popular for initiating infrastructural developments in the mountainous areas of Thiruvambady Constituency.

He had a love-hate relationship with the Congress, which he abandoned to join the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP). He served as president of NCP's state unit for three years before returning to Congress and was elevated to the executive committee of the KPCC.

He served in various positions, including as president of the Thamarassery Co-operative Bank, President, the Kerala Rubber Marketing Federation and the Karshaka Congress. He was also a member of the Rubber Board.

Between 1970 and 1982, Cyriac reached the state Assembly four times. But he also suffered four consecutive defeats between 1987 and 2001, once from Sulthan Bathery and thrice from Thiruvambady.

His first stint was as the MLA of Kalpetta in 1970, representing the Congress R party. His next three terms were as the representative of the Thiruvambady Constituency, on Congress ticket.

Establishing Krishi Bhavans
Cyriac's term as Agriculture Minister saw the establishment of Krishi Bhavans in every panchayat in the state. He played a significant part in setting up the rural treasury and a court at Thamarassery.

Cyriac was born at Marangattupilly near Pala in Kottayam district in 1933. In 1950, his family migrated to Kattippara, a hilly area near Thamarassery.

The late Annakutty of Kannoth Varikkamakkal was his wife. Cyriac's mortal remains will be kept for public homage at the Good Earth Villa apartments at Kovoor till 10 am on Friday and at the Town Hall till 12 before being taken to Kattippara, where the funeral will take place at the cemetery of Holy Family Church by 5 pm.

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