Factional fights in the Congress in Kerala could erupt again, with the late K Karunakaran’s daughter, Padmaja Venugopalan, threatening to name ‘five current senior leaders’ of the party who had allegedly implicated her father and forced him to resign as chief minister in 1995.
Padmaja, also a senior party functionary, said in Thrissur that she will reveal the names to the judicial commission appointed by the Supreme Court. She said she will not mention any name in public. But it is only too well known that she is aiming at the powerful faction that pays allegiance to former Defence Minister AK Antony and former CM Oommen Chandy.
“My father is a victim of group politics. He was cheated on the pretext of the ISRO espionage case by people he trusted blindly. He didn’t take any names then. I don’t want to disrespect his memory and will not name them,” she said.
Unlike others in the case, her father alone was denied justice during his lifetime, she said, adding that it is the responsibility of the Congress to prove his innocence.
She added that the police officers in charge were influenced by powerful interests. “I will respond in detail about this after discussing this with others in the party,” she said.
Meanwhile, Padmaja’s brother and senior leader K Muraleedharan welcomed the Supreme Court’s decision to constitute a three-member panel to probe the framing of scientist Nambi Narayanan in the ISRO spy case.
“Nambi Narayanan’s innocence has been proved, though belatedly. But the then top police official Raman Srivastava is now an adviser to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan. My father died without proving his innocence,” he said in Kozhikode.
He added that former Prime Minister PV Narasimha Rao had exerted pressure on his father to to resign.