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Like a phoenix

P.M. Sayeed, though born in Androth Island of Lakshadweep, had many connections with Ernakulam. His entry to the mainland was mostly through Kochi port. He visited Ernakulam as often as he could. One of his daughters is a gynaecologist at a hospital in the city while another is studying in a school in Kochi. This apart, he has close connections with a senior lawyer along with whom he had practised law. In fact, his name figures in the advocates' list displayed at the former colleague's office even now.

The soft-spoken, friendly man had straight answers to queries at pres conferences. Political rhetoric was alien to him. The leader who set a record in the history of Indian parliament by winning ten times consecutively from the same constituency, was at last defeated by a margin of just 71 votes.

How did it happen? He had a plain answer. A cyclone had lashed the islands just before the elections. Many of his supporters were in the mainland and could not reach the island as the ships' schedules were thrown out of gear.

But he was in the Centre once again, rising like a phoenix, when he was nominated to the Rajya Sabha to be elevated as the Union Minister for Power.

R. RAMABHADRAN PILLAI

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