Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) Kerala unit president Uzhavoor Vijayan, 60, died at a private hospital in Kochi due to liver related ailments.  

He had been undergoing treatment at the hospital since July 11. Vijayan had been put on ventilator support for the last two days but died on July 23 morning, the hospital spokesman said.

He is survived by a wife and two daughters.

Hailing from Uzhavoor in Kottayam district, Vijayan began his political career during his college days as a leader of the Kerala Students Union (KSU), the student wing of the Indian National Congress. Vijayan was state secretary of the Kerala Students Union (KSU) and Youth Congress before parting his association with Congress along with a group of prominent leaders in protest against the proclamation of emergency in the country in 1975.

Vijayan, known for his speech containing political wits, later joined the NCP and rose to the rank of its state president.He also emerged as a key member of the LDF state committee during the Assembly polls held last year.

He had fought Assembly elections in 2001 from Pala in Kottayam district but lost to Kerala Congress veteran K M Mani. 

His cremation will be held tomorrow at his village, NCP sources said.

Condoling the death of Vijayan, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said his death was a great loss to the Left movement in the state.

"Uzhavoor Vijayan's demise pains me deeply. He was a person who stood with the Left front firmly for long. He had showcased an exemplary public life keeping sanctity in politics as well as in personal life," the Chief Minister said in a Facebook post.

Terming Vijayan as a leader who had never gone after power, the Chief Minister said he had upheld democratic values throughout his public life.
Health Minister K K Shylaja said Uzhavoor Vijayan's sudden demise would cause an irreparable loss in the Kerala society, especially for the Left Front.

Finance Minister Thomas Isaac said Vijayan's political wits and humouristic speeches had helped him won the hearts of even his political rivals.

Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala said though he had political differences with Vijayan, he had lost a close friend through the demise. He also said he had close contact with the late leader since the times of KSU.

CPI(M) state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee president M M Hassan and CPI state secretary Kanam Rajendran were among those who condoled the death of Uzhavoor Vijayan.

(With inputs from PTI)