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Tom Vadakkan’s departure non-issue: Congress leaders

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Thiruvananthapuram, March 14 (IANS) Congress leaders in Kerala on Thursday said the departure of Congress spokesperson Tom Vadakkan is a non-issue for the party.

Congress spokesperson Joseph Vazhakken said that as far as the party in Kerala was concerned, Tom Vadakkan was never involved at any level in the state.

"We have only seen Vadakkan on TV channels. In Kerala he has had no space or role. His leaving is not going to affect us in any manner," Vazhakken told the media.

Congress Secretary and former MLA P.C. Vishnunath said he failed to understand the noise over Vadakkan joining the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

"Vadakkan is one person who will not be able to make any impact even in a local body in Kerala. Who is he after all? Our only plea to the BJP is to see that they retain him forever. The Congress in the past has seen several similar opportunists and their going makes no impact at all," said Vishnunath.

Vadakkan, who hails from Thrissur in Kerala, had ahead of the 2014 Lok Sabha polls tried to use his influence in Delhi to get a Lok Sabha seat from Thrissur but Congress leaders and activists thwarted his attempt.

But Kerala BJP President P.S. Sreedharan Pillai said that many more Congress leaders were expected to join the party.

"Vadakkan is just one. You just wait and see, more are coming. But I will not reveal who they are," said Pillai.

Vadakkan told the media that he was deeply hurt at the way the Congress questioned the integrity of the armed forces after the suicide bombing at Pulwama led to India-Pakistan tensions.

"I gave my prime of life to the Congress. But dynastic politics is now at its zenith in the party… There’s no place in it for self-respecting people," he said.