Veteran leader Karunakaran passes away

The former Congress leader, a four-time chief minister of Kerala, died after prolonged illness.

Thiruvananthapuram: Veteran Congress leader and four times Chief Minister of Kerala and former Union Minister K Karunakaran died at a private hospital here on Thursday.

Karunakaran was admitted to the hospital with severe breathing problem and fever on December 10. His condition worsened yesterday following a stroke and was put on ventilator since then.

Karunakaran, widely respected within the country as `leader`, was on ventilator support since yesterday after he suffered a stroke.

His son Muraleedharan and daughter Padmaja Venugopal were present at the hospital.

Karunakaran, who also served as union industry minister for a brief one year in 1995, was considered as one of main the architect of coalition politics in the country.

He was active in politics till he was admitted to hospital with breathing problem and fever on December 10.Though his condition showed signs of improvement in the initial days, it turned critical after he suffered the stroke.

His wife Kalyanikutty Amma died 15 years back. He is survived by his son K Muraleedharan, a former KPCC President and daughter Padmaja Venugopal, a member of the KPCC executive committee.

Born on July 5, 1918 at Chirackkal in Kannur district as son of Ravunnia Marar and Kannoth Kalyani Amma, Karunakaran was an
astute politician and was called `Chanakya` by his supporters.

Karunakaran gave up his school education at an early age and started his political career through the Indian National Congress. A staunch patriot, he had zealously participated in the freedom struggle as well as in trade union activities.

Karunakaran was a member of the Cochin Legislative Assembly way back in 1948 and Travancore-Cochin Legislative Assembly three times in 1949, 1952 and 1954. He has been elected to Kerala Legislative Assembly from Mala constituency in Thrissur district seven times consecutively.

As administrator Karunakaran has contributed much to the development of the state. The first green filed airport in the country with private participation at Nedumbassery in Kochi has come up with his initiative.

As a veteran parliamentarian, whose career stretches over five decades, Karunakaran has been elected three times to Rajya Sabha, and to Lok Sabha twice.

He was a member of the Raja Sabha during 1995-97, 1997-98 and
2004-2005. He represented Thiruvananthapuram in Lok Sabha in
1998 and Mukundapuram in 1999.