Kerala bids final farewell to Karunakaran

Congress stalwart Karunakaran was cremated with full state honours as Kerala paid him a tearful adieu.

Thrissur: Congress stalwart and four time
Chief Minister K Karunakaran was cremated with full state
honours as Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and a large number of
people paid a tearful adieu to the colossus of Kerala

After the family members performed last rituals, a gun
salute was accorded and Seva Dal volunteers paid their
respects shortly before Karunakaran`s son K Muraleedharan lit
the funeral pyre adjacent to the memorial site of his mother,
Kalyanikutti Amma, who died 15 years ago.
The cremation was held at `Muralimandiram`, the
93-year-old Karunakaran`s house at nearby Punkunnam ending the
over seven-decades old chequered political career of `Leader`,
as he was popularly known.

The Prime Minister flew down to Kerala today to pay
his respects to his erstwhile cabinet colleague in the P V
Narasimha Rao Government in the 90s.

After placing a wreath, the Prime Minister spoke to
Karunakaran`s son and daughter Padmaja Venugopgal.

Singh also spoke to Karunakaran`s younger brother,
Appunni Marar, and told him that the Congress veteran was a
"good colleague".

Soon after the Prime Minister left the Town Hall,
Karunakaran`s mortal remains were taken to the DCC office for
a brief while and then to the leader`s house for cremation.

Congress President, Sonia Gandhi, had paid her
respects to Karunakaran yesterday at Thiruvananthapuram.

Earlier, thousands of Congress workers paid homage to
Karunakaran as his body was brought by road from
Thiruvananthapuram, where he died on December 23 after
protracted illness.
The journey took 18 hours to reach his home town
Thrissur this morning as the cortege had to be stopped at
various places to enable the Congress workers and public to
pay their respects.

Union ministers A K Antony, Mullapally Ramachandran,
Vayalar Ravi, K V Thomas, state ministers-- Kodiyeri
Balakrishnan, M A Baby, K P Rajendran, Kadanapally
Ramachandran, and Jose Thettayil, Opposition leader Oommen
Chandy, KPCC President Ramesh Chennithala were among those
present at the cremation.


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