Congress likely to offer Wayanad seat to pacify K Muraleedharan

In spite of the strides made by BJP’s Suresh Gopi, Muraleedharan had pinned high hopes on winning from Thrissur as he anticipated the support of Christian and minority voters.
 K Muraleedharan
K Muraleedharan

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM : Damage-control measures are on in Congress to placate senior leader K Muraleedharan from taking drastic decisions like quitting active politics. The immediate plan of the Congress state leadership is to console him and ensure that he attends the party meeting to take stock of the poll outcome. Speculation is rife that if Priyanka Gandhi is not interested in contesting the by-election from Wayanad, then Muraleedharan has a chance to contest from there.

Within the first few rounds of counting of votes, Muraleedharan sensed trouble and decided to switch off his mobile phone. A sulking Muraleedharan was in no mood to listen to hollow promises being made by the party leadership. His elder son, Arun Narayanan, who works in Dubai, had actively helped his father in his campaigning.

The family had anticipated to see Muraleedharan winning which saw Arun landing again coinciding with the counting of votes. But it ended up on a sad note. Over the last 36 hours, a slew of senior Congress leaders vied with each other to console Muraleedharan. He told TNIE that the Congress state leadership has not offered him any promise including a party ticket to contest from Wayanad Lok Sabha seat.

“In all likelihood, Priyanka will make her parliamentary contest debut from Wayanad. When I campaigned in Thrissur, several people had asked me whether I would stay back there if I won. They got the impression that BJP would bring in change in Thrissur which saw Suresh Gopi winning. Since the minority vote consolidation did not happen as anticipated, my victory remained a distant dream,” said Muraleedharan.

In spite of the strides made by BJP’s Suresh Gopi, Muraleedharan had pinned high hopes on winning from Thrissur as he anticipated the support of Christian and minority voters. But it was short-lived as he sensed trouble in the first round of counting itself as Suresh Gopi gained lead in Ollur and Madakkathara which were otherwise known as CPM strongholds.

“Muraleedharan’s campaign did not see senior leaders from other states coming down except Karnataka Deputy CM D K Sivakumar. When Suresh Gopi created ripples, Muraleedharan should have gone one step ahead of that which did not happen,” said a source close to Muraleedharan. The Congress state leadership is expected to hold an evaluation meeting probably next week once the Kerala Assembly session starts on June 10.

‘Cong leaders who backstabbed me did same with my brother’

Thrissur: Expressing her joy at the NDA’s victory in Thrissur, Padmaja Venugopal, daughter of Congress leader the late K Karunakaran, who recently switched to the BJP, said that it was the same group of leaders in the district Congress committee who she felt undermined her during the assembly elections in 2021 and contributed to her brother K Muraleedharan’s defeat. “I had advised him not to come to Thrissur if he did not want to lose the election. Now, he has understood it clearly,” Padmaja said at Murali Mandiram in Thrissur

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