YOUNG CONGRESS legislators in Kerala on Sunday raised a banner of rebellion against the move to give another Rajya Sabha term to senior party leader P J Kurien. Deputy Chairman of the Rajya Sabha, Kurien’s third term in the Upper House will end next month.
The revolt against Kurien, who has been a Lok Sabha member for six consecutive terms, came close on the heels of the severe drubbing the Congress faced in the recent by-election at Chengannur assembly segment.
Congress legislator V T Balram said it was high time the party unit in Kerala was overhauled. Drastic changes were required in the party, which otherwise would face an existential crisis, he said. “I expect P J Kurien, who completes three terms in the Rajya Sabha, would use this occasion to bid adieu to Parliamentary politics. The Congress leadership should consider youth and other leaders, who haven’t got an opportunity in parliamentary politics, for the Upper House.’’
Balram’s observation echoed in party circles, particularly among the young leaders. Party legislator Hibi Eden said Kurien should realise that the party required new face in Parliament. “The CPM has created good parliamentarians by sending young leaders to the Rajya Sabha. The Congress should not convert the Rajya Sabha into a place to accommodate disgruntled elements.’’
Another legislator, Roji M John, said the party should learn from the electoral setback in Chengannur. “The Congress leaders who had once vociferously demanded generation change in the party leadership, should take the initiative to bring in new faces to the Rajya Sabha,” said John.
As several other Congress leaders joined the revolt against him, Kurien said he was ready to make way for others if the party asked him to do so.