All-out bid to block Murali's back-door entry

Frontline Congress leaders in Kerala call it wishful thinking

Daring, because not a single frontline leader in the Congress wants him back and have made it amply clear. “That is his wishful thinking,” said Union Minister for Overseas Development Vayalar Ravi on Friday. State PCC chief Ramesh Chennithala and Opposition leader Oommen Chandy say Muralidharan’s return is not on the party’s immediate agenda.

Orphaned

Muralidharan had dramatically stepped down from the presidentship of the NCP on Thursday “without any provocation’’ according to party MLA Thomas Chandy. Party supremo Sharad Pawar is believed to have ordered his expulsion on Friday. Apparently, Murali’s latest volte face has much to do with his orphaned existence in the last four years since he left the Congress.

He formed the Democratic Indira Congress (DIC) in a bid to wean away a large section of Congress workers. When it did not work out, he merged his party with the NCP expecting to get into the LDF. Though CPM state secretary Pinarayi Vijayan was favourably disposed towards his entry, CM V S Achuthanandan saw to it that he never got into the front.

Ever since, he had been moving heaven and earth to get into the UDF though the Congress state leadership never warmed up to him. And not without a reason. In the past, he had dubbed the Congress as “Oommen Congress”, called Ahmed Patel “Aluminium Patel” and rubbed most leaders barring A K Antony the wrong way.

It was the same Muralidharan who had declared that he was prepared to return to the Congress. Back in Delhi his  father K Karunakaran met Sonia Gandhi and the PM  to pave the way for his son’s rehabilitation. The stand of  A K Antony, once the bete noire of  Karunakaran, would determine Muralidharan’s future.

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