Karunakaran siblings upset by state Congress revamp

Last Updated: Thu, Nov 29, 2012 12:50 hrs

Thiruvananthapuram, Nov 29 (IANS) Former chief minister K. Karunakaran's children have expressed unhappiness at the organisational revamp of the state Congress.

Numerous rounds of talks have occurred in connection with the revamp in the state capital and in New Delhi, and the process is now reported to be in its final stages.

Karunakaran's son K. Muraleedharan is a Congress legislator, besides being a former state party chief. His daughter Padmaja Venugopal contested the 2004 Lok Sabha elections and lost, and has been out of state politics for a while.

Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and state Congress chief Ramesh Chennithala, who head rival factions of the party, were accused by the siblings of sharing the 'booty' during the reorganisation of the party.

Muraleedharan remarked: "It is not fair to give just bones to the others, after sharing the meat."

Hearing from the media that a list of officials and recommended positions was handed over to the party high command, Muraleedharan said: "When I was president here, we used to have different rounds of talks with all concerned ahead of a revamp. Today, somehow, that's not happening here."

Remarking about the large number of officials listed, Muraleedharan said: "From what we have heard from the media, the new state party executive is so large that if it has to meet, a very big marriage reception hall would need to be hired. Only then could the executive be seated."

Muraleedharan's sister Padmaja asserted that an assurance was given to her father before he passed away in 2010 that the post of party president of Thrissur district would go to one of his close associates.

"From what we hear, this has not happened. This goes against the assurance that was given to my father," said Padmaja.

Incidentally, with Muraleedharan leaving the Congress party in 2004, the erstwhile Karunakaran faction of the party has ceased to exist, as supporters have all gone to different factions.

As the Chandy faction in the Congress party emerged stronger, all those who earlier supported Karunakaran joined the Chennithala faction, barring Muraleedharan.

According to a top party source, the list that was handed over by Chandy and Chennithala to the party high command comprised more than 50 people, including two vice presidents, 22 general secretaries and 30 secretaries.

Chandy returned from Delhi Thursday, after a second round of talks over the state party reorganisation, and told reporters that his work was now done, and that the list was with the high command.

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