Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Muraleedharan back in Congress

15 Feb 2011

Thiruvananthapuram: Former KPCC chief and state minister and son of party leader K. Karunakaran, K. Muraleedharan was Tuesday was given readmission to the Congress.

AICC general secretary in charge of Kerala Mohsina Kidwai announced that party president Sonia Gandhi has revoked the suspension of Muraleedharan.

She also said that Muraleedharan will get all consideration as a former president of the state unit of the party.

Meanwhile, Muraleedharan expressed happiness for the AICC's decision to take him back to the Congress but expressed sorrow that his father K Karunanakaran was no more to share the moment of joy.

"I am extremely happy that I am Congressman again. But I am sad that my father is no more to share the joy", Muraleedharan told reporters here shortly after AICC general secretary Moshina Kidwai announced in New Delhi the decision to take him back to the Congress Asked if his return to the party would mean that he was going to be a candidate in the state assembly polls due in May, he said

"All that I have asked was the basic membership of the Congress and it is for the leadership to decide rest of things." A formal request for taking back Muraleedharan to the party was made to the AICC president Sonia Gandhi by KPCC president Ramesh Chennithala and the Congress Legislature Party leader Oommen Chandy in Delhi Tuesday.

A former KPCC president, Muraleedharan split the Congress in the state and floated his party DIC-K in May 2005, following a grim phase of faction feud in the state unit when the UDF Government headed by A K Antony was in power. He was then slapped with a six-year suspension by the AICC for breaking the party.

Though Karunakaran returned to the Congress after two years of formation of the new outfit, Muraleedharan later dissolved DIC-K after it proved an electoral flop and went on to head the NCP in the state. After his unsuccessful bid in the 2009 the Lok Sabha polls as an NCP candidate from the Wayanad seat, Muraleedharan resigned from the Sharad Pawar-led party and openly aired his wish to be back in the Congress. Karunakaran, who died in December, was also keen that his son was taken back to the Congress.

Though initially, a section in the state leadership was opposed to taking back Muraleedharan before the suspension period was over, they also eased their stand in recent times, especially after Karunakaran's health condition worsened. His return to the party also received support from the party heavy-weights like A K Antony who advocated a "foreget- and-forgive" approach towards Muraleedharan.

The thinking in Congress circles in the state is that Muraleedharan's return would further strengthen the party-led UDF combine when it is making a vigerous bid to capture power in Kerala from the LDF in the assembly polls due in May. Muraleedharan,who still enjoys some support base and personal following, had worked for the UDF in the civic polls in last October, in which the coalition put up a sterling performance across the state.

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