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    Karunakaran's absence a huge loss: Muraleedharan

    Thiruvananthapuram: The absence of Congress veteran K Karunakaran in the campaigning is a huge loss to the Congress-led front in the poll-bound Kerala, his son K Muraleedharan said on Saturday.

    Addressing reporters, Muraleedharan said his father, who died in December 2010, was a passionate campaigner.

    "Even when his health was failing, he always saw to it that he campaigned for the Congress-led front, such was his passion when it came to campaigns," Muraleedharan said.

    "And on Saturday, every supporter of us has got the message that in the last executive meeting of the Congress party, just before he passed away, he made a passionate plea to all to work unitedly for the success of the party and I can sense that it is happening," said Muraleedharan, who is contesting from the Vattiyoorkavu assembly seat.

    A three-time Lok Sabha member, this is Muraleedharan's second attempt to enter the state assembly. In 2004, he contested a by-election after being inducted into the cabinet of A K Antony as part of a settlement to end infighting within the Congress party. But he created a dubious record of becoming the first minister in the state to lose a by-election.

    "I have learned a lot from sheer experience of what I did in the past and for that the axe of discipline fell upon me. And now, I assure that never ever will I be engaging in such acts again," he said.

    "I know very well the party high command gave a seat to me despite my indiscipline just because I am the son of Karunakaran. I will not let down my party ever again," he added.

    Muraleedharan is pitted against Cherian Phillip, his former party colleague and one-time closest aide of Defence Minister A K Antony.