Senior Congress leader and Kerala Assembly Speaker G Karthikeyan, 66, died in a hospital in Bangalore on Saturday morning. Diagnosed with liver cancer, he has been undergoing treatment in Bangalore for last two weeks.
A prominent Congress leader in Kerala, Karthikeyan has entered into politics through Kerala Students Union, the student outfit of Congress. He had been the state president of KSU and Youth Congress before becoming the vice-president of Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee.
He had been elected to the state assembly in 1982, 1991, 1996, 2001, 2006 and 2011. In Congress government headed by A K Antony in 1995, Karthikeyan had been power minister. He had served as civil supplies minister in the Congress government in 2001.
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When the Congress returned to power in 2011 assembly elections, Karthikeyan was elected as the Speaker.
In 90’s, Karthikeyan had been a firebrand leader of the Congress. He, along with Ramesh Chennithala and M I Shanavas had led a intra-group battle against then chief minister K Karunakaran against his bid to bring son K Muraleedharan into party leadership.
In July, last year, after the assembly session was over, Karthikeyan had announced that he was quitting as the Speaker. He then said, “I am a political animal. I wanted to return to active politics.”
While his request to quit as Speaker was awaiting the high command nod, Karthikeyan fell sick. He had undergone treatment in US in October last year.