Karunakaran bats for son’s return to UDF

August 5th, 2008 - 4:05 pm ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Sonia Gandhi

Thiruvananthapuram, Aug 5 (IANS) Veteran politician K. Karunakaran, who returned to the Congress in December 2007, now wants the United Democratic Front (UDF) to readmit his son K. Muraleedharan, who heads the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) in Kerala. “Those who say the NCP will not be allowed to join the UDF are those who fear they might lose their seats. I feel if the NCP joins the UDF, it will be good for the UDF,” Karunakaran told reporters here at his residence.

Karunakaran was reacting to a statement by state Congress president Ramesh Chennithala, who has said that there are no plans to expand the UDF.

“Who said the UDF is a place where those parties who do not find accommodation in LDF (Left Democratic Front) will be accommodated? We have no such plans and this is not on our agenda,” said Chennithala.

A peeved Muraleedharan also reacted to Chennithala saying he was not planning to be included in the UDF.

“We have not given any application to Chennithala to include us in UDF. Where we go will be decided by our national leadership. A final decision in this regard will be taken in September,” Muraleedharan said.

Ever since Karunakaran returned to the Congress, father and son have not had the best of relations. In February, Muraleedharan declared that he would not regard Karunakaran as his father.

“Karunakaran ditched us all when, without consulting anyone, he announced he is returning to the Congress. He has done this to get some posts in the Congress. That party will not benefit with his re-entry, and neither will our NCP lose,” said Muraleedharan.

Father and son walked out of the Congress in 2005 to form the Democratic Indira Congress-Karunakaran. A year later, they found the going tough, and merged their party with the NCP for political survival.

When this gamble failed to pay off, Karunakaran, much against the wishes of his son, said he erred by quitting the Congress. He got the nod from Congress president Sonia Gandhi to return to the party.

The NCP, which was an ally of the ruling LDF in Kerala, was booted out of the coalition when Karunakaran’s DIC-K merged with NCP in 2006. Despite Karunakaran’s exit, the NCP has not been able to return to the LDF.

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