Jose (78) was actively involved in the organisation of the ongoing state 'yatra' being undertaken by state president of Congress VM Sudheeran and was rushed to hospital after complaining of uneasiness late night, they said.

He breathed his last in the hospital early this morning. Jose was a two time legislator besides being the speaker of the Kerala Assembly for a brief period from February to June 1982 when his casting vote prevented the then K Karunakaran ministry from falling down.

After his tenure in Kerala politics, Jose shifted his political arena to Delhi. Since 1996 he has been elected three times as a Lok Sabha member. After losing the 2004 Lok Sabha polls, Jose remained an active leader of the party in the state.

In the second UPA government (2009-14), Jose was appointed as the chairman of the Coir Board. All through his political career he was a hugely popular trade union leader also. The Congress party has announced that the funeral would be held here on Tuesday.

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