Former Kerala CM Karunakaran dies after prolonged illness

Last Updated: Thu, Dec 23, 2010 13:20 hrs

Veteran Congress leader and former Kerala Chief Minister K Karunakaran breathed his last on Thursday after suffering a stroke and acute breathing problems at a hospital here.

He was 93. Karunakaran was 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. (ANI)