The Congress on Tuesday re-admitted former Kerala chief minister K Karunakaran’s son K Muraleedharan into the party, strengthening its campaign to wrest power from the Left in the coming assembly elections.
The party had suspended Muraleedharan in 2005 after he floated the Democratic Indira Congress with the blessings of his father, who became founder-chairman of the new party. Though Karunakaran came back to the Congress fold in 2007, the party was reluctant to take his son back, fearing factionalism.
However, Karunakaran’s death in December last year expedited Muraleedharan’s homecoming and ended his six years in the political wilderness. In his last days Karunakaran, a five-time CM and former union minister, had been desperate to find a place for his son in the Congress.
Soon after the revocation of his suspension, Muraleedharan said: “The man who would have been most happy is not alive now.”
Muraleedharan said his re-entry into the Congress was unconditional. The party is likely to give him an assembly seat, most probably the one represented by his father in Thrissur district.
As the state Congress chief in 2001-03, during AK Antony’s tenure as chief minister, Muraleedharan had been noticed for his organisational skills. His return would help the party, especially in the northern Malabar area.
His father was the party’s biggest crowd puller and it can expect to gain from a sympathy wave.