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Kerala Speaker G Karthikeyan is no more

Kerala Speaker G Karthikeyan is no more
Thiruvananthapuram: The Speaker of the Kerala Assembly, former minister and Congress leader, G. Karthikeyan, (66) is no more. He was undergoing treatment at the Health Care Global (HCG) hospital in Bengaluru after being diagnosed with cancer of the liver.

Karthikeyan, who was lodged in the ICU, breathed his last around 10.30 am on Saturday.

Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, who was in Kochi, cancelled his official programmes and returned to the state capital when Karthikeyan's condition turned critical.

Home Minister Ramesh Chennithala is on his way to Bengaluru. Minister M.K. Muneer is at the hospital.

The condition of the Speaker, who had been having medical problems for some time, deteriorated recently. He had undergone treatment at the Mayo Clinic in the US. His wife, Dr M.T. Sulekha (Director, IGNOU Distance Education Department) and sons, Ananthapadmanabhan (an engineer in Jakarta) and Sabareenadh (Manager, HR; Tata, Mumbai), were at the hospital when the end came.

Karthikeyan was known for his genteel manners and insightful oratory. He was known for his often different and powerful stances in Kerala's political landscape.

Born on January 20, 1949, as the son of N.P. Gopala Pillai and Vanajakshiamma, he got involved with the KSU during his student days.

He graduated in Commerce and then went on to become a lawyer. He held various positions such as Union General Secretary at the Kerala University, a member of the senate, KSU state president, state president of the Youth Congress, KPCC General Secretary, KPCC Vice President and so on.

He was MLA six times and gained entry into the Assembly for the first time in 1982 from Thiruvananthapuram North. He became minister twice - in 1995 and 2001 - and also had a stint as party chief whip.

Most recently, his offer to step down as Speaker following a debacle of the party in the LS elections at Aruvikkara, his constituency, invited attention.

As Speaker, Karthikeyan was particular that ministers should respond to queries from MLAs promptly. He also insisted that MLAs should become more active in the affairs of the Assembly.
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