Kerala Assembly Speaker G Karthikeyan passes away

Kerala Assembly Speaker G Karthikeyan passes away

Kerala Assembly Speaker and senior Congress leader G Karthikeyan, who was undergoing treatment for liver cancer at a hospital here, passed away today due to multi-organ failure.

Karthikeyan's condition deteriorated due to multi-organ failure and he passed away at 10.30 AM, HCG Cancer Centre Director (Healthcare Services) Dinesh Madhavan told PTI in Bengaluru.

Karthikeyan (66) is survived by his wife and two sons. He was suffering from Hepato Cellular Cancer (liver cancer) with chronic liver disease and was admitted to HCG Cancer Centre for specialised treatment, Madhavan said.

Karthikeyan was being treated by a multi-disciplinary expert team headed by Dr P S Sridhar, he said, adding, "His liver functions deteriorated for which he was on advanced liver support system."

Karthikeyan was taken to the US for treatment last year after which he was shifted to the hospital in Bengaluru.

Known for his clean image and easy accessibility, Karthikeyan began his political career as an activist of the Kerala Students Union (KSU), the student wing of Congress. He later served as the state president of the Union.

He held the portfolios of Electricity and Food and Civil Supplies in the two ministries of the A K Antony in 1995 and 2001 respectively.

A six-time MLA, he represented Thiruvananthapuram North, Aryanad and Aruvikkara constituencies. A former AICC member, he also served as General Secretary and Vice President of Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC).

Karthikeyan represented Aruvikkara constituency in the present Assembly after winning in 2011 Assembly elections.

He had courted controversy just after the 2014 Lok Sabha polls when he expressed a desire to step down as Speaker and return to active politics. This was not accepted by the party high command which asked him to continue as Speaker. After his return from the US, he did not attend the last Assembly session in December.

Karthikeyan had attended the opening ceremony of the 35th National Games in the state capital on January 31 after which he fell ill again and was shifted to Bengaluru for advanced treatment.

Senior Congress leader and former Defence Minister A K Antony said Karthikeyan's demise was a big loss for the party and Kerala.

Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said he was 'deeply saddened' and 'pained' with the Speaker's demise, while KPCC chief V M Sudheeran said he had lost one of his long-time friends and it was an 'unbearable loss'.

Veteran CPI(M) leader V S Achuthanandan described Karthikeyan's early demise as an "irreparable loss" to the entire state.

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