Thrissur: Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Manmohan Singh, paid respects to the seniormost Congress leader, K Karunakaran, at the Town Hall here on Saturday.
Dr Singh, who arrived at kochi from New Delhi by a special aircraft at abut 1.20 pm, reached Thrissur by helicopter and immediately left by road to the Town hall where Karunakaran`s body was kept.
The Prime Minister was accompanied by Union minsiter, Gulam Nabi Azad and AICC general secretary, Mohsina Kidwai.
After placing a wreath, Dr Singh spoke to K Muraleedharan and Padmaja Venugopal, son and daugter of Karunakaran and spent some time with the bereaved family members.
Congress president, Sonia Gandhi, was in Kerala yesterday to pay her respects to Karunakaran.
Thousands of people from all walks of life had paid homage to Karunakaran at the town hall since this morning.
The hearse carrying the body, which left Thiruvananthapuram by road at around 2 pm yesterday, took nearly 18 hours to reach Thrissur this morning. Congress workers and public waited patiently for several hours to pay their respects at various points on the national highway through which the cortege passed.
The body will be kept at the congress office here for a short while after which it would be taken to `Muralimandiram`, the leader`s house at nearby Punkunnam where the cremation
will take place beside the tomb of his wife, Kalyanikitty amma who pre deceased 15 years ago.
Dr Singh was in the town hall for about seven minutes.
Kerala Governor, RS Gavai, Union ministers, AK Antony, Vayalar Ravi, KV Thomas, former minister Shashi Tharoor, state ministers, Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, M A Baby and Jose Thettayil were among those present.
Owing to security considerations, shortly before the Prime
Minister`s arrival, public was not allowed inside the hall.