Cong suspends ex-minister for calling Rahul a 'joker'

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Thiruvananthapuram/New Delhi, May 29: Former Kerala minister T H Mustafa was today suspended from Congress for calling Rahul Gandhi a "joker" and saying he should be removed if he does not resign in the backdrop of the party's debacle in the Lok Sabha polls.

[Read: Yet another Congress leader attacks Rahul, calls him MD of circus]

As the remark by Mustafa fuelled a controversy with some party leaders condemning it, a meeting of the KPCC held here to review the election performance of the party and the UDF led by it in the state felt the Congress leader had committed "a serious mistake" by making adverse comments againt Rahul.

Mustafa had prima facie breached the organisational discipline and decorum and he was being suspended from the primary membership, pending futher inquiry into his conduct, KPCC President V M Sudheeran said briefing reporters on the deliberations at the meet. He said the party at the national and state level had taken a clear position that individual leaders should not be held responsible for the defeat.

Mustafa, who was a minister in the K Karunakaran Ministry in the early 1990s, had told a news conference in Kochi yesterday that Rahul depended on a coterie close to him during the campaign and said "acting like a joker" would not help in elections.

"He (Rahul) should resign from the party. He should not continue. If he doesn't resign voluntarily, he should be removed. He acted like a joker(during the poll campaign)....," Mustafa had said. Taking exception to the remark, the Youth Congress state President Dean Kuriakose raised the issue at the meeting and demanded expulsion of Mustafa from the party for his fulmination at the central leadership.


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