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In a rare disclosure, Kerala state unit Congress president M M Hassan on Saturday revealed that in 1995 A K Antony had asked some party leaders not to unseat then Chief Minister K Karunakaran.
Hassan said this while speaking at the eighth death anniversary of Karunakaran, one of the tallest Congress leaders of his time and a four-time Chief Minister of the state.
"Soon after the turn of events in the ISRO spy case, I along with a group of Congress leaders with Oommen Chandy wanted that Karunakaran should step down. Chandy along with me, after pressing for the removal of Karunakaran, went to Antony's house. Antony was adamant that there should be no such move as it could lead to the weakening of the Congress party, similar to what happened in the '60s, when P.T. Chacko left the Congress," said Hassan.
He added that now looking back, there is a feeling of guilt.
"I feel, I should not have done that," said Hassan.
Ever since Karunakaran became a powerful Congress leader in Kerala in the early '70s, the party till the early 2000s was seen as having two factions - one headed by Karunakaran and the other by Antony, but the master brain was Chandy.
When reporters met Chandy on Saturday in the state capital and asked him if he too felt it was a mistake to unseat Karunakaran, Chandy asked, "Who said this?" and when told it was Hassan, Chandy with a smile walked away.
But in 1995, Karunakaran eventually had to move out and he was replaced by Antony.
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First Published: Sat, December 23 2017. 16:25 IST