More Congress leaders will join BJP…’ Padmaja Venugopal tells Asianet News

Padmaja Venugopal daughter of former Kerala CM Karunakaran disclosed that her decision to leave Congress was influenced by the neglect she experienced within the party. She was speaking exclusively to the Asianet News regarding the drawbacks of the Congress and the circumstances that led to her joining the BJP.

Padmaja said, ” I decided to leave the party three years ago. More leaders from Congress will go to the BJP. Several central leaders were approaching me. Before taking the final decision, I called KC Venugopal (AICC General Secretary) many times, however, he did not pick up the phone.”

Padmaja also alleged that Congress leaders took money from many people for the election.

Furthermore, she alleged financial misconduct, stating, “They defrauded me while collecting funds for Priyanka Gandhi’s event. Although asked for Rs 50 lakh, I only provided Rs 22 lakh. When I inquired about accompanying Priyanka on the motor tour that day, the District Congress Committee president reacted angrily.”

She stated, “I only sought freedom of action from the BJP, and they made no specific promises. If requested, I am willing to campaign against MP K Muraleedharan in Thrissur. There is no turning back to Congress, given the neglect I faced. I had to break down in front of the KPCC president due to the party’s indifference. Several others are likely to leave Congress soon.”

Meanwhile, Congress MP K Muraleedharan has alleged that former Kerala DGP Loknath Behara acted as the intermediary in facilitating Padmaja’s transition to the Bharatiya Janata Party. However, Padmaja refuted the allegations leveled against her and Behara.

K Muraleedharan disclosed Behara’s name in the Asianet News program Point Blank. Behara, who was the Kochi City Police Commissioner when K Karunakaran was the Chief Minister, has had a good relationship with the family and Padmaja since then, he claimed, adding that the BJP may have utilised this relationship. He openly asserted that Behara has strong ties with both PM Modi and CM Pinarayi Vijayan, insinuating that their influence facilitated Padmaja’s move to the BJP.