Kerala Congress leader T H Mustafa suspended for calling Rahul Gandhi a joker

Thiruvananthapuram: Senior Congress leader T.H.Mustafa, who called Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi a “joker” and demanded he quit party posts, has been suspended from the party, a party leader said Thursday.

Addressing reporters, after the marathon 10 hours discussion of the executive of the state party unit to analyse the results of the Lok Sabha elections, Congress’ Kerala unit president V.M. Sudheeran said the decision was unanimous.

“He made this remark openly, yesterday (Wednesday), when he was invited to take part in today’s executive. The term he used ‘joker’ on Gandhi was extremely unbecoming on Mustafa’s part and we decided to suspend him with immediate effect,” said Sudheeran.

The 72-year-old Mustafa, a former minister and a five time legislator, was unfazed.

“I welcome the decision to suspend me. Look where the Congress party is now and Rahul Gandhi was the person who was spearheading the campaign and hence he has the responsibility. I did also mention that Priyanka Gandhi should take over as the new president,” he said.

Even though Mustafa was suspended, the day-long deliberations saw many leaders expressing their dissent against the national leadership of the party especially the conduct of some Congress ministers in the Manmohan Singh government and top leadership remaining a mute spectator.

“All what you have heard on the television since our meeting began today is not true. Yes, the resolution that was passed at the end of the deliberations mentions that certain actions of the UPA government taken at the fag end did upset the people,” said Sudheeran.

The Congress-led United Democratic Front which had 16 seats in the 2009 Lok Sabha saw its tally come down to 12 in the 2014 polls.

The meeting Thursday also decided to appoint separate committees to find out how the party lost seats like Thrissur, Chalakudy, Palakkad, Alathur and Idukki.

“These committees have been asked to submit their reports at the earliest. You wait and see , on what the action would be there, once the report comes,” added Sudheeran.