Karunakaran slams state Congress leadership, praises Sonia

January 1st, 2009 - 4:44 pm ICT by IANS  

Sonia GandhiThiruvananthapuram, Jan 1 (IANS) The Kerala unit of the Congress was weak and its chief Oommen Chandy “dormant”, veteran Congress leader K. Karunakaran said Thursday while praising party president Sonia Gandhi for doing a “fine job”.”The organisational leadership of the party is weak and the leader of opposition Oommen Chandy is dormant and is unable to rejuvenate the party. But Sonia Gandhi is doing a fine job and that was seen in the results of the assembly elections, especially in Kashmir,” Karunakaran told reporters.

The 90-year-old former Kerala chief minister, who had split from the Congress only to return in December 2007, was asked about his earlier criticism of Gandhi and said: “At the appropriate time I have criticised, so what is wrong in that.”

Karunakaran and his son K. Muraleedharan had walked out of the Congress party and formed the Democratic Indira Congress-Karunakaran in 2005. However, they found the going tough and merged the party with the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) a year later.

When that did not work either, Karunakaran went against his son’s wishes, admitted he was wrong in leaving the Congress and rejoined the party. Son Muraleedharan went on to join the NCP, which is neither with the Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) nor with the ruling Left Democratic Front (LDF) in Kerala.

Hoping to bring Muraleedharan back into the reckoning, Karunakaran also said that he was a crowd puller and the NCP should be accommodated in the UDF.

As Karunakaran was holding the press conference, the first after a long time, Congress spokesperson M.M. Hassan also spoke to reporters to refute the veteran’s allegations about the state leadership.

“Maybe what he said about the party is his personal opinion. The functioning of the Congress party is fine and perfect and there is no problem in the way it is being run now,” said Hassan.

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