Karunakaran mends ties, returns to Cong

Written by Political Bureau | New Delhi, Dec 30 | Updated: Dec 31 2007, 05:10am hrs
After two and half years of estranged relationship with the party he worked for 75 years, senior Kerala leader K Karunakaran returned to the Congress here on Sunday. Karunakaran was trying to return to Congress since last few months. Completing the formalities, he met Congress president Sonia Gandhi and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh here and announced his return.

Following differences with senior leaders of the Kerala unit of the Congress, defence minister AK Antony and former chief minister of the state Oommen Chandy, Karunakaran left the party in May 2005 to form a new party, Democratic Indira Congress (Karunakaran). After the CPI(M) central leadership denied his party an entry to the Left Democratic Front (LDF), Karunakaran with his son K Muraleedharan and a number of followers joined the NCP. However, while returning back to Congress, his son is not accompanying him.

I have a very cordial meeting with Sonia Gandhi. She gave me a good reception much more than what I expected. She was so kind and the discussions were very effective, Karunakaran said after an hour-long meeting with Gandhi and the Prime Minister.

We discussed the political situation, including the coming general elections. I will try my level best to win back the seats which Congress lost in 2004 elections in Kerala, the 89-year old leader said.

When asked whether he would try to bring leaders like Sharad Pawar back to Congress, he said that he would do whatever task is assigned by the Congress high command.