After suffering a long illness and being close to death's door for nearly a decade former Kerala chief minister K Karunakaran crossed the threshold on Thursday evening. He was 92.
Karunakaran was the chief minister of Kerala four times and has been a fixture of the politics of that state for decades. He was extremely well-versed in the art of politics and had a long and colourful career.
He entered politics in 1935 but really came into his own between 1960 to 1990 when he dominated in the state and national levels.
During the four tenures as chief minister and even in the twilight years of his life `Leader` was deeply embroiled in political manoeuvring. He has been accused of favouritism, nepotism, of being senile, carrying a grudge and several scams to boot.
Over six decades, he built up the Congress in Kerala, left the Congress, formed his own party, merged it with another party, joined yet another party and eventually returned to the Congress.
Such a dizzying political career is increasingly becoming rare and Karunakaran can be rightly seen as one of the last of the old breed.Image: K. Karunakaran