Union minister Suresh Gopi calls Indira Gandhi 'mother of India'

Actor-politician also says Karunakaran was the father of the Congress party in Kerala

Thrissur BJP MP Suresh Gopi (file photo)
Thrissur BJP MP Suresh Gopi (file photo)


Actor turned Union minister and Thrissur MP Suresh Gopi on Saturday described former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi as the "mother of India", and late Congress chief minister K. Karunakaran as a "courageous administrator". The Kerala BJP leader also called Karnuakaran and Marxist veteran E.K. Nayanar his "political gurus."

Gopi was speaking to reporters after visiting Murali Mandiram, the memorial to Karunakaran in Punkunnam, Kerala. Interestingly, Gopi won the Thrissur Lok Sabha seat by defeating Karunakaran's son and Congress leader K. Muraleedharan, who finished third in a triangular contest in the 26 April polls.

Urging mediap not to add any political connotation to his visit to Karunakaran's memorial, the BJP leader said he had gone there to pay his respects to his "guru".

He said like Nayanar and his wife Sarada Teacher, he had close relations with Karunakaran and his wife Kalyanikutty Amma, and had visited Nayanar's home in Kannur and renewed his relationship with his family members on 12 June.

Gopi also added that he viewed Indira Gandhi as "bharathathinte mathavu (mother of India)", and for him, Karunakaran was the "father of the Congress party in the state".

He explained that describing Karunakaran as the "father" of the Congress in Kerala was not a disrespect to the founders or co-founders of the grand old party in the southern state. The actor-turned-politician also hailed the administrative capabilities of the Congress veteran and dubbed him a "courageous administrator" of his generation.

He further said that though he had expressed his desire to visit Murali Mandiram in 2019, the veteran's daughter Padmaja Venugopal, who recently defected to the BJP, discouraged him owing to "political reasons". Later, Gopi also visited the famous Lourde Mata Church in the city and offered prayers.

He and his family's presentation of a golden crown to the idol of St Mary during his daughter's marriage was used by his political opponents to target him, alleging that it was not made of yellow metal but copper.

Gopi won the Thrissur Lok Sabha seat, opening an account for the BJP in Kerala.

Thrissur had witnessed a three-way contest for the Lok Sabha polls, with major candidates from the Congress, BJP, and CPI locked in a neck-and-neck battle.

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