New Delhi, Dec 23 (ANI): Vice President Mohammad Hamid Ansari has condoled the death of veteran Congress leader and former Kerala Chief Minister K. Karunakaran, who passed away in Thiruvananthapuram on Thursday.
"I am deeply grieved to learn about the sad demise of Shri K. Karunakaran, former Chief Minister of Kerala, former Union Minister, veteran leader and Parliamentarian," Vice President Ansari said in his message.
"Shri Karunakaran achieved prominence through his participation in the freedom struggle and in the trade union movement. He had a significant record of service to the country and especially to the state of Kerala during his many years in public life. He had worked for the upliftment of poor and the downtrodden and earned the respect and admiration of the people of his state for his dedication and sense of public service. His services to the country shall always be remembered," he added.
Vice President Ansari said in his message further said: "My wife joins me in sending our heartfelt condolences to the members of the bereaved family and the wide circle of his admirers and friends and pray the Almighty to give them strength to withstand this loss."
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)