PM Pays Homage to Karunakaran

PM Pays Homage to Karunakaran
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who arrived here this afternoon, paid his last tributes to veteran Congress leader and former Kerala chief minister K Karunakaran.

Singh, arrived in Kochi by a special aircraft, then reached here by a helicopter and immediately left by road to the Town hall, where the body of 93-year-old Karunakaran, who died on December 23, lay in state.

He was accompanied by Union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad and AICC General Secretary Mohsina Kidwai.

After placing a wreath, Singh spoke to Karunakaran's son K Muraleedharan and daughter Padmaja Venugopal, both politicians, and spent some time with the bereaved family.

Congress President Sonia Gandhi had yesterday paid homage to Karunakaran in Thiruvananthapuram, where he died after a prolonged illness.

Thousands of people from different parts of the state paid homage to Karunakaran at the town hall since this morning.

The hearse carrying the body of Karunakaran, which left Thiruvananthapuram by road at around 2 PM yesterday, took nearly 18 hours to reach his home town Thrissur this morning.

Congress workers and public waited patiently for several hours to pay their respects at various points on the national highway, through which the cortege passed.

The body will be kept at the Congress office here for a short while after which it would be taken to 'Muralimandiram', the leader's house at nearby Punkunnam where the cremation will take place, beside the tomb of his wife, Kalyanikitty Amma who died 15 years back.

Owing to security considerations, public was not allowed inside the hall, shortly before the Prime Minister's arrival.

Union Ministers, A K Antony, Vayalar Ravi, K V Thomas, former union minister Shashi Tharoor, state ministers, Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, M A Baby and Jose Thettayil were among those present when the Prime Minister paid homage.
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