Congress says no to Muraleedharan again

Thiruvananthapuram, Jan 27 (Calcutta Tube) The state executive of the Congress party in Kerala Wednesday once again decided that K. Muraleedharan, son of former chief minister K. Karunakaran, need not be re-admitted to the party.

State Congress chief Ramesh Chennithala told reporters that a daylong meeting had been called to discuss Muraleedharan’s re-entry after 91-year-old Karunakaran had requested for it.

‘Even though the party’s doors are open to anyone, Muraleedharan’s case is different because it was AICC (All India Congress Committee) president Sonia Gandhi who suspended Muraleedharan. In today’s meeting this issue was discussed and it was decided to stand by our decision that was taken in August last year. We reiterate that decision,’ said Chennithala.

In the August meeting of the party it was decided that Muraleedharan need not be re-admitted into the party because of his past performance. Chennithala said it was the first time in the history of the party that a state president of the party was suspended for six years.

‘In today’s (Wednesday) executive meeting, a few leaders had a different opinion and hence I will submit a detailed report of the entire proceedings to the AICC. I do not have a personal opinion because my opinion is the opinion of the party. We consider Karunakaran as the supreme leader but the general opinion among a cross-section of the party is that Muraleedharan need not be re-admitted,’ said Chennithala.

In the morning, it was Karunakaran who spoke first and asked the executive to consider taking Muraleedharan back.

While senior leaders like V.M. Sudheeran, P.C. Chacko and K.K. Ramachandran batted for Muraleedharan, a majority of the leaders including leader of opposition Oommen Chandy and Chennithala said that the general opinion of the rank and file of the party is that Muraleedharan need not be re-admitted.

Talk of Muraleedharan returning to the Congress first surfaced when Karunakaran wrote to Chennithala in November, requesting that his son be taken back. Since then Muraleedharan has visited New Delhi twice, pleading with national Congress leaders to allow his return.

The father-son duo had walked out of the Congress in 2005 and formed the Democratic Indira Congress-Karunakaran. One year later, they found the going tough and merged the party with the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) for their political survival.

When this gamble too failed to pay off, Karunakaran, much against the wishes of his son, admitted he was wrong in leaving the Congress and got the nod from Sonia Gandhi to return.

Karunakaran himself returned to the Congress in December 2007 but without Muraleedharan, who preferred to remain the Kerala president of the NCP.

With their fortunes dipping, Muraleedharan quit the NCP last year and since then has been eyeing a return to the Congress.

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