The biennial elections for the three Rajya Sabha seats including one held by Kurien will fall vacant on July 1. The election will be held on June 21.
Young Congress leaders in Kerala have revolted against the party’s move to give another Rajya Sabha term to senior leader PJ Kurien whose tenure in the Upper House expires next month. The Indian Express reported that several party MLAs have voiced opposition and demanded that a new face be given the opportunity to enter parliamentary politics and learn.
VT Balram, who is an MLA from Thrithala constituency, said that the Congress may face an existential crisis in the state if changes are not brought in the state unit leadership. “I expect P J Kurien, who completes three terms in the Rajya Sabha, would use this occasion to bid adieu to parliamentary politics. The Congress leadership should consider youth and other leaders, who haven’t got an opportunity in parliamentary politics, for the Upper House.’’
Balram’s comments come close on the heels of the party’s drubbing in the Chengannur assembly bypolls.
Another party leader Hibi Eden too voiced the same concern. The Ernakulam MLA said that Kurien should himself come forward and offer the seat to a fresh face. “ Kurien should realise that the party requires a new face in Parliament,” he said while referring to the CPM style of ‘good’ practice to send young leaders to the Rajya Sabha.
“The CPM has created good parliamentarians by sending young leaders to the Rajya Sabha. The Congress should not convert the Rajya Sabha into a place to accommodate disgruntled elements,’’ the IE report quoted him as saying.
Roji M John, Congress MLA from Angamaly, said that the party should ‘learn a lesson’ from the Chengannur bypoll result and party leaders should take an initiative to bring new faces to the Upper House. “The Congress leaders who had once vociferously demanded generation change in the party leadership, should take the initiative to bring in new faces to the Rajya Sabha,” he said.
Deputy Chairman of the Rajya Sabha Kurien’s third term as an MP of the Rajya Sabha ends next month. He had been a Lok Sabha for a record six consecutive terms between 1980 and 1999. He was elected to the Rajya Sabha in 2005. In August 2012, he had assumed the office of the Deputy Chairman of the Rajya Sabha and since then he had been holding the post.
Meanwhile, Kurien has said that he was ready to pave the way for others if the party leadership asks him to do so.
The biennial elections for the three Rajya Sabha seats including one held by Kurien will fall vacant on July 1. The election will be held on June 21 and the last date of filing the nomination is June 11. The two others MPs who are retiring are Joy Abraham of Kerala Congress-M and CP Narayanan of CPI-M.