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Marshmallows replace stones in Kurien’s attack on State Congress

G. Krishnakumar
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It seems P.J. Kurien has replaced stones with marshmallows while attacking the powerful sections in the Congress whom he blames for his current ignominy.

But he says “one or two [in the party] may be against him”.

Asked whether there was an attempt from within the Congress to thwart his electoral ambitions, especially in view of the Lok Sabha elections in 2014 by raking up the Suryanelli issue, Mr. Kurien told the Hindu on Tuesday that the party was fully with him. He was also quick to point out that it would not make much of an impact even though one or two may be against him in the party.

Considered as the senior Congress leader A. K. Antony’s man right from the beginning, he started realising his political ambitions. Mr. Kurien, say political observers, has been able to overcome the traditional infighting among the Congress, thanks to his closeness to the Congress High Command. A. Jayasankar, advocate and political commentator, recalled that Mr. Kurien was originally part of the Congress A group led by Mr. Antony.

“Kurien is Antony’s trusted lieutenant. He is not in good terms with Chief Minister Oommen Chandy. But is a well-wisher of KPCC president Ramesh Chennithala and a close friend of NSS General Secretary G. Sukumaran Nair,” he said.

Recalling that Mr. Kurien had immediately contested Mr. Chandy’s claims that there was no understanding between the NSS and the AICC over the cabinet berth for Mr. Chennithala, Mr. Jayasankar said Congress (I) group leaders were running to television channels to support Mr. Kurien’s arguments in the Suryanelli case.

Sebastian Paul, former MP and media critic, said Mr. Kurien was close to the high command and the Congress leadership would hence try to shield him. “The State leadership will not stand against the wishes of the high command by speaking against Mr. Kurien at this juncture,” he said.

In Pathanamthitta, Congress workers admitted that Mr. Kurien still remains the king-maker and he remains powerful and above the Congress ‘A’ and ‘I’ groups. He also enjoys the support of the Church, NSS and SNDP leadership, they said.

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