New Delhi, Dec 23 (ANI): Congress Party leaders condoled the death of veteran Congress leader and former Kerala Chief Minister K. Karunakaran, who passed away in Thiruvananthapuram on Thursday.
"I felt rally bad to hear about the demise of Karunakaran ji. I have known him for past 40 years and I have realized that Karunakaran ji was a good leader, who was respected everywhere," said senior Congress leader Motilal Vora.
Karunakaran, a political stalwart and tall leader of the Congress party was close to the Nehru family from the time of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru. His relationship with the Gandhi family and the Congress Party culminated and pinnacled during the tenure of former Prime Ministers Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi.
"Karunakaran played important role in the Central Government right from the days of Indira ji. He has been the member of the Congress Working Committee. He will always be remembered for the secular ideals and his political initiatives. It is a sad today that India ahs lost an extraordinary leader," said Congress leader Tom Vadakan.
"Karunakaran's death is a big loss not only to Congress Party and Kerala, but a big loss to the country. We have lost one of the most senior most veteran statesman, who guided us for almost six decades," added another Congress leader B. K. Hariprasad.
Karunakaran breathed his last today after suffering a stroke and acute breathing problems at a hospital in Thiruvananthapuram.
He was 93, and hospitalised on December 10 following a complaint of severe breathing problems.
Karunakaran was the chief minister of Kerala four times. He took charge as chief minister for the first time in March 1977, but had to resign within a month of taking office, following certain references by the Kerala High Court in what came to be known as Rajan case.
He became the chief minister again on December 28, 1981, but resigned on March 17, 1982, following the withdrawal of support by a member of the Kerala Congress (M). Midterm elections to the seventh Kerala Legislative Assembly was held on May 19, 1982.
After a series of unsuccessful attempts to regain supremacy in the Kerala wing of the Indian National Congress, dissidents led by him fell foul of the Congress high command.
A veteran parliamentarian, whose political career spanned over five decades, Karunakaran was elected thrice to the Rajya Sabha and twice to the Lok Sabha. He was a member of Rajya Sabha during 1995-97, 1997-98 and 2004-2005. He was elected to Lok Sabha from Thiruvananthapuram in 1998 and from Mukundapuram Constituency in 1999.
Karunakaran was Minister for Industries in the Union Cabinet for a year in 1995.
He was also Kerala"""s home minister when emergency was imposed in the country in the mid-1970s. After the emergency, the Rajan case rocked Kerala politics like no other issue before and Karunakaran was forced to step down.
Congress leaders and other political outfits have condoled the demise of the renowned politician, who was affectionately called """Leader""" by Congress activists. (ANI)