Kochi: Senior Kerala Congress leader and former state minister CN Balakrishnan died at a private hospital in Kochi on Monday night due to pneumonia. He was 87.

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Balakrishnan, a native of Puzhakkal, Thrissur district, became active in politics through the Bhoodan Movement.

He was admitted to the Amritha Institute of Medical Sciences one week ago following a cardiac ailment and chronic kidney disease. He is survived by wife Thankamani and daughters CB Geetha and Mini Balram.

Balakrishnan was a minister in the Ommen Chandy government. As a minister for cooperation, khadi and village industries, and pollution control from 2011 to 2016, he had represented Wadakkanchery Assembly in the state elections in 2011. Balakrishnan first contested for an Assembly seat at 75 in 2011 and won from Wadakkanchery.

A long-standing aide of former chief minister K Karunakaran, Balakrishnan was the Thrissur district Congress committee president for 17 years and was also the treasurer of the state unit for long.

Chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan and Ramesh Chennithala, the leader of the opposition in the state Assembly, were among those who condoled his death.