Welcoming Mr Karunakaran, his son and DIC (K) president K Muraleedharan and the party workers into the NCP fold, Union Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel declared that a new change would down on the country soon and the NCP would have a big role in it.
Criticising the Congress for disrespecting its former senior leaders such as K Karunakaran and Sharad Pawar, Mr Praful Patel said those talking of a single-party rule were living in a fool's paradise.
While the Congress party had seen high times and low times, it was only Mr Karunakaran who had stood steadfast with the party leaders such as Indira Gandhi and Rajeev Gandhi. Yet, the Congress did not show respect to him, he added.
Assuring the people of Kerala that the NCP-DIC(K) merger would do good for the state, he said the NCP-ruled ministries at the Centre such as civil aviation and agriculture will work towards the fulfilment of the developmental needs of the State.
Be it an international airport at Kannur or cheaper and more frequent flights to the Gulf, all these would become a reality in the days to come, he added.
Later, as Mr Muraleedharan formally declared the merger, Mr Patel handed over the NCP flag to him, amidst slogans of 'Sharad Pawar Zindabad, Karunakaran Zindabad, NCP Zindabad'.
Mr Muraleedharan said the DIC(K) had decided to merge with the NCP not for any position but to preserve the real values that the Congress stood for.
Accusing the present Congress leadership of deviating from the path shown by leaders such as Indira Gandhi, he said while Mrs Indira Gandhi had fought against Pakistan for the creation of Bangladesh, the Congress had not said a word about the death sentence verdict against former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein.
Similarly, while Mrs Indira Gandhi had nationalised the banks, the present government was busy handing over national assets to private people.
Eds: pick up suitably from earlier series.
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