Thiruvananthapuram: A day after the Congress state unit issued a gag order on party leaders against making public statements that could escalate the controversy over Rajya Sabha election, former KPCC president V M Sudheeran showed all and the sundry how to violate it the harsh way.
In a lengthy press meet, Sudheeran termed the party leadership's decision to cede a vacant Rajya Sabha seat to Kerala Congress (M) a 'Himalayan blunder.' He said the decision defied common sense.
Putting the matter in a national perspective, Sudheeran said, "When a Lok Sabha member goes to Rajya Sabha, the Congress-led UPA loses one member in the lower house of Parliament. This will actually benefit the BJP."
The KC(M) has fielded Jose K Mani for the RS election. Jose K Mani is already an MP representing Kottayam Lok Sabha constituency.
He said the leaders of the Congress in Kerala were weakening party president Rahul Gandhi's atempts to dethrone prime minister Narendra Modi and the BJP-led government at the Centre.
This is the first time Sudheeran has made such harsh criticism after his unceremonious exit as KPCC president after the party's rout in the Assembly elections in 2016.
Citing occasions in the past when he chose to stay away from contesting the 2009 Lok sabha elections and the 2016 Assembly polls, Sudheeran said he had already quit electoral politics. "I urge mediapersons not to fall for the allegations that I nursed parliamentary ambitions," he said.
Questioning the political credibility of the Kerala Congress (M), Sudheeran asked if the Congress leaders were sure of the KM Mani-led party not joining the BJP fold in future. The party came back to the Congress-led UDF recently after it got the Rajya Sabha seat. The party had severed its three-decade long ties with the Congress after the defeat in 2016 Assembly polls.
He also took a dig at the party leadership for issuing a gag order despite having a track record of violating it several times.
Sudheeran recollected that former chief minister Oommen Chandy was reluctant to accept him as KPCC president.
"I don't forget personal relationships. I openly declare Vayalar Ravi, A K Antony and Oommen Chandy as my leaders. But I would openly criticise them if I think they have made mistakes," he said.
"The party leaders are far removed from reality. They failed to sense the people's feelings," he said.