It’s official. Cherian Philip is back in Congress. Philip, who has been a CPM traveling companion for the past 20 years after leaving Congress in 2001, received membership from Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) Chairman K Sudhakaran by paying 5 rupees.
After joining the party, he unleashed a scathing attack on the CPM, claiming that the Marxist party is ready to ally with any devil for electoral gains.
“If Congress is suffering from a cold due to climate change, then PMO has been diagnosed with blood cancer,” Philip said.
“I have been trying to study Marxism for 20 years. I haven’t been able to learn much. I have attended all of the party’s study classes and put my doubts on the ideologues there. Even they don’t know anything. The party is ready to befriend any devil, “he said.
Philip, once a close confidant of Congress veterans AK Antony and Oommen Chandy, received an enthusiastic welcome back to the party at his state office. In addition to Sudhakaran, the main party leaders including VD Satheesan, Oommen Chandy, Ramesh Chennithala and KC Venugopal attended the meeting.
Addressing the rally, Sudhakaran said Philip’s experience is a lesson for those seeking CPM asylum from other parties. Mocking former KPCC secretary general KP Anilkumar, Sudhakaran said: “A leader who recently joined the CPM has been given responsibility for one of the 167 branches of CITU.”
Anilkumar is part of a section of congressional leaders who quit the party and joined the CPM recently after Sudhakaran became the leader of the CCP and initiated an overhaul of the organizational structure.
Congress views Philip’s induction into the party as an appropriate response to the PMO, which was quick to capitalize on the opposition party’s crisis. Philip’s enthronement was just a matter of formality, as he had spoken clearly in recent days. All top congressional leaders had also welcomed him back into the party even as discussions about his political initiative began to circulate.
In the late 1980s and 1990s and until he left Congress in 2001, Philip held a prominent place in the party. Too close to AK Antony and Oommen Chandy, Philip, with his intellectual and organizational skills, was a promising Congress leader.
He was largely responsible for building Antoine’s image as an idealistic and straightforward political leader, sources said. Philip played a large role in creating the “Antony brand” in congressional politics, much to the chagrin of K Karunakaran, who led the rival “I” faction. Antony was three times Chief Minister of Kerala: 1977, 1995 and 2001.
Philip started his political career in the student wing of Congress and served as president of the Kerala Students Union (KSU) in 1980. He then went on to become one of the main leaders of the Youth Congress and the Committee of Kerala Pradesh Congress.
He first tested his electoral luck in 1991 when he contested the assembly elections in Kottayam constituency, but lost to CPM mainstay TK Ramakrishnan.
Ten years later, in 2001, Philip hoped for a chance to run for parliamentary elections in a winnable constituency known as a “safe seat” in political parlance, but that has not happened.
He had demanded that he be given a secure seat in Thiruvananthapuram. But when the party did not comply with his request, despite his close ties to Antony and Chandy, he decided to quit the party.
The CPM was quick to sense a political opportunity there and aligned it against Chandy in Puthuppally, the seat the Congress leader has occupied since 1970.
Although the electoral experiment failed, the CPM hosted it on the party-backed Kairali TV channel. He used to anchor a social commentary program in the channel. In 2006, Philip again unsuccessfully contested the Assembly ballots as a left-wing candidate against Joseph M Puthussery of the Kallooppara constituency. However, when the Left Front won the elections and formed the government that year, he was appointed chairman of the Kerala Tourism Development Corporation.
In the 2011 polls, he got another assembly seat – Vattiyoorkavu – but lost to K Muraleedharan, and he returned to Kairali TV. It was his last electoral race.
In 2016, when the LDF government led by Pinarayi Vijayan took power, Philip secured a ministerial position in one of his favorite projects – the Nava Kerala mission.
Since then, there had been talk that Philip would be given a seat in the Rajya Sabha.
When the vacancies in the Upper House of Parliament arrived in March of this year, with PMO confident of winning two, it was almost certain that Philip would get one.
However, Vijayan picked his closest assistant John Brittas (Managing Director of Kairali TV) and V Sivadasan, who took care of Vijayan’s social media, as Rajya Sabha’s candidates at the last minute, much to Philip’s disappointment.
After retaining power in the elections in April this year, Pinarayi Vijayan’s government offered Philip the post of deputy chairman of the Kerala Khadi board, which he declined saying he was busy writing a book. Philip has already written several books on history and politics.
Philip made clear his dissatisfaction with CPM recently when he criticized the government for handling the floods.
After torrential rains and landslides wreaked havoc in Kerala this year, Philip wrote on Facebook that “those in power are definitely betraying the trust of the people by singing elegies and shedding tears in the rehabilitation camps afterwards. not having done enough to alleviate their problems. . “
The message was loud and clear and Congress seized the opportunity.