Rahul Gandhi, who is in the midst of the Bharat Jodo Yatra on Sunday condoled the passing away of senior Congress leader, Aryadan Mohammed.

Rahul while speaking to the media persons at Thrissur during the yatra said, “Aryadan Mohammed was a Congress leader who has come to the top Congress leadership from the grassroots. He was a kind-hearted person and was a major presence for the Congress party in the Kerala legislative Assembly. He was personally close to me and my deep condolences on the passing away of the senior leader.”

Rahul Gandhi, however, said that the Bharat Jodo Yatra would continue with grief over the passing away of Aryadan Mohammed as many people were involved in the yatra as well as logistics were involved.

Senior Congress leader and former Chief Minister of Kerala, A.K. Antony while speaking to the media persons at his Thiruvananthapuram residence said, “His passing away is a very personal loss. We were closely working together in the Congress party for the past several decades. He was a towering leader of the Congress party who has come his way up as a grass root leader. An able administrator and a people’s leader, Aryadan Mohammed will always be remembered.”

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan condoled the passing away of Aryadan Mohammed. Pinarayi said that Aryadan will always be remembered as a leader who stood for the secular credentials of the country.

Aryadan Mohammed (87), a senior Congress leader and three-time minister from Kerala, passed away at Kozhikode after a brief illness. Aryadan was considered as the ‘Chanakya’ of Kerala’s Congress politics.

He was a minister in the A.K. Antony cabinet and the Oomen Chandy government.

Aryadan was a tourism and labour minister in the Antony government and was Electricity minister in the Oomen Chandy government. He was also a member of the CPI-M leader E.K. Nayanar-led LDF government in 1980 when the Congress party of Kerala split and the faction owing allegiance to A.K. Antony joined the Left government. However, the government fell in 1982.

While his academic qualification was only a matriculation pass, Aryadan Mohammed was a voracious reader and used to quote profusely from all the international and national publications. In the debates in the Kerala Assembly, Aryadan Mohammed was always the firefighter for the Congress party.

An eight-term MLA from Nilambur Assembly constituency since 1970, he was a member of the Kerala legislative Assembly till 2016 on the Congress ticket.

Even during his last days, he was busy scheming political strategies for the Congress party. Aryadan Mohammed had a black mark when he was accused and jailed in the murder of CPI-M leader from Nilambur, Kunhali. He was arrested and jailed in 1969, but later he was acquitted.

Aryadan Mohammed is always remembered as a Congress leader who never budged to the one upmanship of the Congress ally Indian Muslim League in its fort of Malappuram district. The senior Congress leader has always had a warm relationship with political leaders cutting across party lines.

A staunch nationalist and a Congress leader, Aryadan always believed that Congress was the party of India that caters to all sections of the population.

Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee President (KPCC), K. Sudhakaran said that Aryadan Mohammed’s death was a major loss for the Congress party. The KPCC president said that while Aryadan was suffering from illness, the death was unexpected.

Indian Muslim League leader and MLA, KPA Majeed while speaking to media persons in remembering Aryadan Mohammed said, “Aryadan was basically opposed to the Muslim League’s politics, but he was always in the forefront in Malappuram district for the United Democratic Front alliance. He was the flag-bearer of the UDF in Nilambur which was a CPI-M bastion for years and he had wrested that constituency from them. Myself and the Indian Union Muslim League deeply condole the passing away of the senior leader.”

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