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Karunakaran hopes to
gain from Kerala crisis
George Iype in Kochi | April 08, 2003 09:46 IST
According to some Congress leaders in Kerala, K Karunakaran wanted his daughter, Padmaja Venugopal, to be inducted into the state Cabinet and that is why he revolted against the high command by fielding a nominee of his choice, Kodoth Govindan Nair, in the Rajya Sabha election.
The veteran leader got Nair to file the nomination papers after Congress president Sonia Gandhi accepted Chief Minister A K Antony's nominees Vayalar Ravi and Thennala Balakrishna Pillai.
"Karunakaran does not have any standing in the Congress these days at the national level. So he wants to promote his son and daughter to fully manage the Congress' affairs in Kerala," a leader from the Antony faction told rediff.com
But Karunakaran denied the charge.
"I have never asked for any ministership for my daughter. The present crisis has been created by my political opponents to tarnish my standing and image in the party," he told rediff.com
He said there is no question of his nominee pulling out of the race. "The Congress is a party that should take decisions by consensus. But the choices of Congress Rajya Sabha nominees from Kerala was made without consulting me."
In protest against the high command's decision to nominate Ravi and Pillai, Karunakaran's son and Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee president K Muraleedharan submitted his resignation to Gandhi.
Two years ago Muraleedharan was made the KPCC president at Karunakaran's insistence. His argument was that since Antony was to become the chief minister, his nominee should head the party.
Later, his daughter was appointed the chairperson of the Kerala Tourism Development Corporation.
Karunakaran said his son and daughter are 'qualified to be politicians'.
"My son is today a leading Congress politician in Kerala, not because of me, but because of his abilities. So there is no question of promoting my son and daughter," he said.
With Karunakaran taking a rebellious stand, it is likely that Gandhi would invite him and Antony to New Delhi for talks.
More reports from Kerala