Karunakaran announces return to Cong

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Thiruvananthapuram, Dec 10 (UNI) Veteran leader K Karunakaran today announced his return to the Congress, saying ''he regretted having left it two years ago.'' ''I announce that I am returning to the Congress. From today, I will take steps to see that we return to the Congress,'' he told at a convention of his supporters here.

''I had differences with the Congress leadership. But now I realise that it was a mistake on my part to quit the party,'' said Mr Karunakaran, who had left the Congress in 2005, challenging Ms Sonia Gandhi's leadership.

He said there was ''no difficulty'' in admitting that it was a mistake.

He had floated his own outfit-- the Democratic Indira Congress (Karunakaran), which a year back merged with the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) after it failed to make a breakthrough in Kerala's bipolar politics.

Pointing out that the Congress alone could carry all sections of the people in the country, the veteran leader stressed that he would return to where he belonged to even if there were stumbling blocks on his path. ''If the Congress becomes weak the country will get weakened,'' he said.

On his son K Muraleedharan, who is now heading the state unit of NCP, he said it was a ''personal sorrow'' that his son was not with him now. But he expressed hope that Mr Muraleedharan, a former KPCC President, would also return to the parent party as no well-meaning person could think otherwise in the prevailing political circumstances.

Ms Gandhi had already given the green signal for Mr Karunakaran's return to the party.

It is said that Mr Karunakaran had written a letter to the party president expressing his wish to return. To support his ''wish'', Mr Karunakaran had snapped ties with the NCP by refusing to attend its meetings.

Though there was some opposition from the Congress state unit on his coming back, KPCC President Ramesh Chennithala and Opposition leader Oommen Chandy, at last, had conceded, saying that they were not opposed to the return of former Chief Minister K Karunakaran to the party fold.

UNI

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