Congress debates Muraleedharan’s return - again

January 26th, 2010 - 5:56 pm ICT by IANS  

Sonia Gandhi Thiruvananthapuram, Jan 26 (IANS) As a crucial meeting of the Congress takes place here Wednesday, the topic, yet again, is whether 91-year-old former Kerala chief minister K. Karunakaran’s son K. Muraleedharan should be readmitted to the party.
The meeting has been called after Karunakaran in a space of two months wrote his second letter to state Congress president Ramesh Chennithala, requesting him that the party discuss the re-entry of his son.

Ahead of the meeting, Chennithala called on the veteran at his residence here and was closeted with him for more than half an hour.

“You have to ask him if he will attend tomorrow’s meeting. We discussed politics also,” Chennithala told reporters after that.

Sources in the party told IANS on condition of anonymity that it is unlikely that in tomorrow’s meeting Muraleedharan will get the nod to return.

“Muraleedharan has been suspended by the All India Congress Committee for breaching party discipline. To the best of my knowledge, I don’t think at tomorrow’s meeting the green signal for Muraleedharan’s re-entry will come, despite the pleas of Karunakaran,” said a top Congress leader.

Talk of Muraleedharan returning to the Congress first surfaced when Karunakaran in November wrote to Chennithala requesting that his son be taken back.

Since then Muraleedharan has made two visits to Delhi pleading with national Congress leaders to allow him to 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 party president 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, which, at its executive meeting in August, unanimously decided against it.

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