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Lok Sabha Elections 2024 | Muraleedharan's poll debacle triggers row in Congress, posters put up in front of DCC office

BJP candidate Suresh Gopi won from Thrissur constituency and CPI's Sunilkumar emerged second when the results were announced on Tuesday. Muraleedharan had to settle for the third position.
Last Updated : 05 June 2024, 10:49 IST
Last Updated : 05 June 2024, 10:49 IST

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Thiruvananthapuram: The massive drubbing of senior Congress leader K Muraleedharan in Thrissur Lok Sabha constituency has triggered a row in the state unit of the party as posters were put up on Wednesday criticising the district leadership for his 'unexpected' defeat.

Muraleedharan on Tuesday announced that he won't contest elections anymore and would stay away from public life for some time. Several senior UDF leaders, including K C Venugopal, Shashi Tharoor and P K Kunhalikutty appealed to Muraleedharan not to get disappointed on his failure.

BJP candidate Suresh Gopi won from Thrissur constituency and CPI's Sunilkumar emerged second when the results were announced on Tuesday. Muraleedharan had to settle for the third position.

Shocked over the BJP's victory, a section of Youth Congress activists came out intensely criticising the district party leadership and sought their resignation for allegedly 'opening doors for the Sangh Parivar forces' to the southern state.

Posters appeared on the compound walls of the District Congress Committee office here, reportedly by the Youth Congress workers, on Wednesday, accusing former MP T N Prathapan and DCC president Jose Valloor for the drubbing.

The posters said that there would be no seat for Prathapan, even in a ward in the central Kerala constituency.

As the results of the April 26 polls were announced by the Election Commission on Tuesday, Suresh Gopi won by a remarkable margin of 74,686, paving way for the saffron party to open its maiden account in the state for the lower house of Parliament.

Muraleedharan had to settle for third position with 3,28,124 votes.

Shocked and disappointed, Muraleedharan announced that he won't contest elections anymore and would stay away from public life for some time.

He said that he wouldn't have felt this much disappointment if the Left candidate had won.

'I have decided to stay away from contesting elections anymore... because I have lost the mood to contest polls. My decision is to stay away from public life itself for some time,' he said.

He also alleged that he didn't get much support from the party leadership during the time of campaigning.

Muraleedharan, a multiple-term MLA and MP and son of former chief minister late K Karunakaran, had to shift to the Thrissur segment from Vadakara at the last minute as per the direction of the party leadership, with the objective of thwarting the chances of the saffron party here.

The party had asked Muraleedharan to contest from Thrissur after dropping the then sitting MP in the segment T N Prathapan.

Though he was highly confident about his victory and even mocked at the BJP, saying that they could open an account only in a bank, Muraleedharan had to settle for the third position.

IUML leader Kunhalikutty described Muraleedharan as a 'fighter' and said he has done 'sacrifice' for the UDF.

He also wanted the Congress-UDF and the CPI (M)-LDF to do a thorough introspection into the victory of the BJP candidate in Thrissur.

While Venugopal said the party would surely examine the unexpected defeat of Muraleedharan, Tharoor requested Muraleedharan to withdraw from his decision to keep away from the public life for some time.

Muraleedharan's sister Padmaja Venugopal, who recently defected to the BJP, on Wednesday said she had given a warning to her brother about some Congress leaders in the district.

Padmaja said her decision to join the BJP was proved to be correct by the developments.

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Published 05 June 2024, 10:49 IST

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