P. T. Chacko


Pulloli Thomas Chacko (9 April 1915 – 1 August 1964) was an Indian politician of Travancore and later Kerala. He was the first Leader of Opposition of the newly formed state of Kerala. He was also the Home Minister of Kerala holding the additional portfolios of Revenue and Law during the period 1960–64.[1][2]

P. T. Chacko
P. T. Chacko (image).png
P. T. Chacko
Minister for Home Affairs, Revenue and Law,
Government of Kerala
In office
1960 (1960)–1964 (1964)
Member of Parliament for Meenachil
In office
1952 (1952)–1953 (1953)
Preceded byPosition established
Succeeded byGeorge Thomas Kottukapally
Personal details
Born(1915-04-09)9 April 1915
Kanjirappally, Kingdom of Travancore, British India
(present day Kottayam, Kerala, India)
Died1 August 1964(1964-08-01) (aged 49)
Political partyIndian National Congress
Children6 (incl. P. C. Thomas)

Early lifeEdit

P. T. Chacko was born on 9 April 1915 to Thomas Puthiaparampil and Annamma Thomas Koottumkal (Pullolil) Chirakkadavu in erstwhile Travancore. He was married to Mariamma Ottaplackal, Chirakkadavu and was survived by six children. His son, P. C. Thomas, represented the Muvattupuzha constituency in Lok Sabha from 1989 to 2009, and also served as the Union Minister of State for Law in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee cabinet.

He graduated from St. Joseph’s College, Trichy, the University of Madras after studying in St. Berchmans College Changanacherry. He continued his studies in law in Law College, Trivandrum, where as a student leader in 1938, he launched himself into the freedom movement and the struggle for self-government in the princely state of Travancore.[3]

Political careerEdit

R. Sankar, Pattom A. Thanu Pillai and P. T. Chacko (February 1960)

A lawyer by profession, after Independence he served as a member of Travancore Legislative Assembly from 1948 to 1949. After the integration of the states of Travancore and Cochin, he continued to be a member of the Travancore-Cochin Legislative Assembly from 1949 to 1952. In 1949, he also served as a member of the Constituent Assembly of India. He was the Chief whip of Legislature party of the Indian National Congress in the Travancore Legislative Assembly in 1948, and also acted as Secretary of Congress Legislature Party in Travancore-Cochin Legislative Assembly. He was also the first M. P. (1952–53) of Meenachil (Lok Sabha constituency).

P. T. Chacko was elected in 1957 to the first Kerala Legislative Assembly from Vazhoor constituency and became the first Leader of Opposition of the newly formed state of Kerala. He played a significant role in the 'vimochana samaram' or anti-communist movement during 1959, that brought down the first democratically elected communist government in Kerala. He represented Meenachil constituency in the second Kerala Legislative Assembly and handled the portfolio of Home Affairs, Revenue and Law in the Ministry headed by Pattom Thanu Pillai from 22 February 1960 to 26 September 1962. In the subsequent Ministry headed by R. Sankar, he handled the same portfolios from 26 September 1962 to 20 February 1964. He resigned the post of Home and Revenue Minister on 20 February 1964 [4][5] He returned to his law practice and also continued to work for the Congress Party.

He introduced the first open jail in India: Nettukaltheri near Neyyar Trivandrum, on 28 August 1962.

The promising political career ended abruptly when he succumbed to a heart attack on 1 August 1964 at the age of 49. As a defense lawyer, he was visiting a scene of crime in Pulappara Mala in Thottilpalam, Kozhikode District when he died.

After his death, the Chacko loyalists in the Congress party grouped together and formed the Kerala Congress under the leadership of K. M. George from Muvattupuzha with the blessings of Mannath Padmanabhan[4]


  1. ^ "General Info > Council of Ministers since 1957 > Second Kerala Legislative Assembly". Kerala Legislature. Retrieved 31 May 2010.
  2. ^ "General Info > P.T.Chacko 1915–1964". Facebook Page. Retrieved 5 August 2014.
  3. ^ "General Info > Remembering P.T.Chacko". Facebook. Retrieved 5 August 2014.
  4. ^ a b Jacob, George (1 August 2014). "Congress welcomes back Chacko's legacy". The Hindu – via www.thehindu.com.
  5. ^ Martin, K. a (3 April 2013). "Ganesh's exit a 1964 redux of P.T. Chacko". The Hindu – via www.thehindu.com.

Further readingEdit

  • "Ministers of Kerala Down the Years" – a Publication of Kerala Legislature Secretariat.