Senior Congress leader M B Muraleedharan joins CPM amid Thrikkakara bypoll campaign

MB Muraleedharan announces his decision to campaign for CPM candidate Dr Jo Joseph at a press meet at the Left Democratic Front's election committee office. Photo: Special Arrangement

M B Muraleedharan, a senior Congress leader in Ernakulam district, on Thursday severed his ties with the party and joined the CPM camp amid the ongoing high-voltage campaign for the Thrikkakara assembly by-poll.

Muraleedharan, a  District Congress Committee (DCC) general secretary, announced his decision to campaign for CPM candidate Dr Jo Joseph at a press meet at the Left Democratic Front's election committee office. He was flanked by CPM leaders, including state secretariat member M Swaraj.

Muraleedharan is a native of Vennala in the Thrikkakara assembly constituency and claims to have significant support base among the voters there. He had been a councillor in the Kochi corporation thrice before being defeated by CPM's C D Valasalakumari in the 2020 civic body polls.

He has been sulking over the Congress' decision to field Uma Thomas as the party's candidate in the by-poll necessitated by the death of her husband P T Thomas. He said he has not been satisfied with certain trends in the party. 

“I'm not against the candidature of Uma Thomas, but I'm not happy with the way she was selected. There were not enough consultations before the decision was taken,” he told reporters.

He said he decided to join hands with the LDF as he needed a platform to continue with his social work. He is yet to join the CPM formally. “Such decisions have to be taken by the party,” he said.

Asked about how he will be used in the campaign, Swaraj told Onmanorama the party will deploy him in the best possible way. CPM Thrikkakara area committee secretary Udayakumar said Muraleedharan will hit the campaign ground from today itself.

Muraleedharan joined the Left camp days after senior Congress leader K V Thomas made backed the the ruling front publically. 

M B Muraleedharan
M B Muraleedharan with CPM leaders M Swaraj and Udayakumar at LDF's election committee office in Palarivattom on Thursday.

Thomas, who had faced disciplinary action for attending a CPM event against his party diktat, recently attended the CPM's election convention along with Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan. He was expelled from the Congress soon after that.

Have you put Thomas in a locker: Satheesan asks  CPM

Earlier on Thursday, Leader of the Opposition V D Satheesan made a scathing criticism against CPM for accommodating Thomas. Alleging that the CPM has deliberately kept Thomas away from campaign front fearing a backlash, the Congress leader asked, “Has the CPM kept K V Thomas in some locker.” Satheesan alleged that the CPM local committees in Thrikkakara reported to the party leadership that bringing Thomas to the campaign front will trigger a backlash.

Asked about the allegation, Swaraj said: “K V Thomas had been one of the tallest leaders of the Congress. Satheesan should self introspect if it is proper to insult him so much just because he left the party”.

Swaraj said Thomas will be attending the CPM's election conventions in the coming days.

The comments posted here/below/in the given space are not on behalf of Onmanorama. The person posting the comment will be in sole ownership of its responsibility. According to the central government's IT rules, obscene or offensive statement made against a person, religion, community or nation is a punishable offense, and legal action would be taken against people who indulge in such activities.